Ken Ham: Geocentric Universe, No Aliens

The Creationists' Universe

The Creationists’ Universe

That illustration shows the creationists’ view of the universe. We see man, the climax of creation — and certainly no kin to no monkey — standing on the immovable flat Earth which is supported by pillars, and the sun goes around the Earth. Our world was created to be the principal focus of divine attention. That’s how the bible describes things, so that’s what a true creationist believes. There’s nothing else out there worth knowing about.

We’ve posted a few times before about creationism’s view of life on worlds other than Earth. The last time was Ken Ham: Aliens Are Going to Hell!, in which he said:

I’m shocked at the countless hundreds of millions of dollars that have been spent over the years in the desperate and fruitless search for extraterrestrial life. … Of course, secularists are desperate to find life in outer space, as they believe that would provide evidence that life can evolve in different locations and given the supposed right conditions! The search for extraterrestrial life is really driven by man’s rebellion against God in a desperate attempt to supposedly prove evolution!

Now we have a new essay from Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the Australian entrepreneur who has become the ayatollah of Appalachia, famed for his creationist ministry, Answers in Genesis (AIG) and for the infamous, mind-boggling Creation Museum.

Ol’ Hambo’s latest is Alien Life a Decade Away from Discovery? This is important, because Hambo is not only the world’s holiest man who understands scripture better than anyone else, he also understands science better than anyone else. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

The media has once again been buzzing with the claims of secular astronomers that alien life is just a few years away from sure discovery. Reportedly, NASA’s chief scientist Ellen Stofan predicted that, “We’re going to have strong indications of life beyond Earth within a decade, and I think we’re going to have definitive evidence within 20 to 30 years.”

Hambo gives some quotes from her recent remarks, but it might be better if you watched her for yourself in this brief video. Then Hambo says:

Evolutionists are convinced they’ll find life in outer space because if evolution occurred here on Earth, then it must have occurred somewhere else. According to secularists, Earth is not special. In their view, it’s just one of many places where, over the supposed billions of years of the universe’s history, life managed to come from non-life and begin the process of evolution. Despite a lack of evidence, scientists are becoming increasingly convinced that life will be found soon. … But from a biblical perspective we shouldn’t expect to find life in outer space.

Does the bible really say that? Not explicitly. Hambo prudently says:

Now, we are not told in Scripture if there is no life on other planets or moons.

That’s true. In fact, other planets are barely mentioned, and there’s no hint that any of them have their own moons. As we’ve noted before, the entire bible mentions the planets only once — in 2 Kings 23:5. According to the King James version:

And he put down the idolatrous priests, whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense in the high places in the cities of Judah, and in the places round about Jerusalem; them also that burned incense unto Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, and to the planets, and to all the host of heaven.

The only thing we’re told about other planets is not to burn incense unto them. Nevertheless, Hambo knows what’s out there and what isn’t. He continues:

Life did not evolve on Earth or anywhere else but was specially created by our Creator as Genesis clearly tells us. Isaiah tells us that Earth was formed to be inhabited (Isaiah 45:18) and Earth is clearly the focus of God’s attention. It is to Earth that God Himself came down in the person of Jesus Christ to dwell among men and die and rise again for our salvation. Christ did not come and die for Martians or other extraterrestrials — He came as the “God-man” to die for mankind, descendants of Adam and Eve. So we have good reason to say that there isn’t intelligent extraterrestrial life, and it’s doubtful that there is even microbial life in outer space, though Scripture doesn’t completely rule out the possibility.

Hambo’s right again. Scripture doesn’t rule out extra-terrestrial microbial life; however it doesn’t mention microbes on Earth either — yet they’re everywhere. Make of that what you will.

Okay, that’s it for aliens. Now get ready for the geocentric universe:

According to secularists there is no center of the universe, so Earth isn’t in any kind of special place. It’s simply a rocky chunk that was in just the right place in our solar system for life to evolve. But the biblical perspective is much different. We might not be the physical center of the universe, but we are the theological center of the universe. It is Earth — not the sun, moon, stars, or other planets — that was created first by God on Day One of Creation Week. In fact, after God created the heavens and the Earth, He focused for three days on Earth before He turned again on Day Four to the heavens. These heavens were created, at least in part, to give God glory and to show His handiwork to the world (Psalm 19:1). It is Earth — not Mars, Jupiter, or some exoplanet in another solar system — that is God’s footstool (Isaiah 66:1; Acts 7:49). And it was to this little planet that God sent His Son, Jesus Christ.

They’ve said that before — see AIG: Our Geocentric Universe, but we understand the necessity for repetition. With only one book in the AIG library, their repertoire is limited. Here’s another excerpt:

Many people hope that discovering extraterrestrials will help us answer the deepest questions of life like “where did we come from?,” “where are we going?,” and “what is the meaning of life?” But these questions won’t be answered by hypothetical extraterrestrials! They are only answered in God’s Word. Scripture alone provides the answers to the deep questions that we ask.

Right. One book is all you’ll ever need. Hambo finishes with a reminder from the greatest event in his life — his debate with Bill Nye:

At my debate with Bill Nye “The Science Guy” last year and in response to a question about where matter came from, I answered: “There is a book” (God’s Word). That Book explains where matter came from, the origin of the universe and life, what our human problem is (sin), and the solution to that problem: Jesus Christ.

Now you know all you need to know. In fact, it’s all there is or ever will be to know. Toss out your other books and forget everything your teachers told you. Pay no attention to what those godless scientists are doing. Go to the Creation Museum and learn what you need to know. Do it now, before it’s too late!

Copyright © 2015. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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36 responses to “Ken Ham: Geocentric Universe, No Aliens

  1. Ken Ham: “Christ did not come and die for Martians or other extraterrestrials …”

    How does he know? Was he there??

  2. Charles Deetz ;)

    So, the creator made the universe and its billions of stars for our amazement and entertainment? But if we spend time learning about them and studying them at all, its a fools errand? Like a young lady in a short skirt, I’m not sure what to do … look or look away. Help me Hammy!

  3. Stephen Kennedy

    Ever since Martin Luther called Copernicus a “fool” religious fundamentalists have been fighting the idea that the Earth is not the center of the Universe. There is no reason to resent the idea that the Earth is not the center of the Universe because no place else is the center either. There is no center of the Universe.

    That the Universe has no center is counter intuitive and very difficult for the mind to grasp. Everything we see in out daily lives appears to have a center. Since we live in and are limited to three spatial dimensions on a planet that seems to be flat things have to have a center.

    However, imagine if we were limited to two spatial dimensions and lived on a spherical planet. Where is the center of the surface of the Earth? While in three dimensions it is easy to see the center of a sphere, if we are only aware of the surface there is no center.

    Creationists simply lack the intellectual curiosity to try to understand concepts that are not easy to grasp.

  4. michaelfugate

    If we do find life on other planets, what will Hambo do then? Give up on a literal Bible? Christianity? Declare it a conspiracy and a lie like moon-landing deniers? I hope we find it soon, so we can get his reaction.

  5. Charles Deetz ;)

    @michaelfugate He already denies the possibility of feathers on dinosaurs, despite OBSERVABLE evidence to the contrary. Unless an alien walks up and shakes his hand, he will deny it is true.

  6. anevilmeme

    He does understand that there are planets around other stars right? Does he understand the sun is just a star?

  7. If some form of life is found on other planets, I suspect the doors to the stable of fake scientists the AiG and D.I. maintains will swing open and countless unsupportable claims will be used to move the goal posts as needed.

    I’d suggest these groups believe that the words controversy and profit are synonyms or at least complimentary. As have the priestly casts throughout history.

  8. From a totally biblical perspective, Ken Ham is totally wacko!

  9. Re “At my debate with Bill Nye “The Science Guy” last year and in response to a question about where matter came from, I answered: “There is a book” (God’s Word). That Book explains where matter came from, the origin of the universe and life, what our human problem is (sin), and the solution to that problem: Jesus Christ.”

    So … God sent Jesus (aka God) down to die (which god’s can’t) and then be reborn (which god’s can’t) to save us from the curse of God (sin). He could have saved us a whole lot of trouble if He had just kept this mouth shut in the Garden. And how come He didn’t know what Adam and Eve were doing, even before they did it, if He is all-knowing and exists outside of space and time? How come the guy is always surprised, disappointed, etc. when He must have known what was going to happen before it did?

    Sounds like a setup to me and Ole Hambo fell for it hook, line, and stinker.

  10. Where does the Bible say that matter – or, more properly, matter and energy – came from?
    Indeed, where does the Bible refer to matter, rather than particular material things? Mass, inertia, potential energy, charge, magnetism, gravity?
    The opening verses of Genesis refer to water without any mention of where it came from. And, as far as I know, the origin of water is never referred to, anywhere.

  11. Allow me to speculate on life elsewhere. I suggest that we will find something which is so different from life as we know it, that it will be just a matter of semantics whether to call it “life”. Or that it will be so similar to life on Earth that it will be likely to be related by common descent to life on Earth.

  12. Doctor Stochastic

    Perhaps (arguing from one of the possible Creationist perspectives) they should be worried that there is a form of alien life that didn’t undergo the Fall. That would trigger a Winter of Discontent for them.

  13. May I take this opportunity to pay homage to the dedicated elves of the Art Department in our Curmudgeon’s fabled C.I.T.A.D.E.L, who continue to delight us with their outstanding and insightful graphic adornments to this blog?

    Personally, I think the world is overdue for a retrospective exhibition of their collective work, ideally to be held at one of the world’s landmark art galleries, such as the Uffizi in Florence, the Louvre in Paris, or the Prado in Madrid,

  14. That’s very thoughtful, Megalonyx, but the only museum worthy of such a display would be the fabled Creation Museum in Kentucky.

  15. A creationist premise for a sci-fi flick would be that irate aliens come to Earth to destroy mankind for causing the Fall. The aliens are about 3000 light years away so the propagation of “The Fall Wave” didn’t reach them until 3000 years, and then it took them 3000 years to get here at light speed to give us Hell.

  16. Whatever evidence is found indicating life elsewhere, Ham and the other creationists will simply deny it. He will claim that either the evidence is false or is falsely interpreted (the conflicting worldviews argument.)

    The problem for Ham is that many of his followers might not be so willing to shrug off such a discovery – it will be a huge event with massive reporting, and even the YECs who normally live in their little bubble will be exposed to lengthy and repeated explanations of what was found. Some of that will sink in.

  17. Ed says: “Whatever evidence is found indicating life elsewhere, Ham and the other creationists will simply deny it.”

    If we find aliens, the least important thing in the world will be Hambo’s reaction.

  18. Doctor Stochastic

    “How To Serve Humanity” could be a badminton instruction manual or a cookbook.

  19. It’s a big universe, Hammy, with approximately 10^11 stars in our galaxy and some 10^11 galaxies. Some galaxies are smaller than ours, but some are a lot larger. So that’s something like 10^22 stars, give or take a few. It’s not clear how many of those have planets in a habitable zone similar to earth’s, but there are probably enough of them that it would be astonishing if this were the only planet with life on it. If this were the only planet with life, that might even be evidence for a mediocre tinkerer who took a couple of billion years to figure out how to make eukaryotes. But I suppose that’s way too much for the brain of Hambone to grasp.

  20. “We might not be the physical center of the universe, but we are the theological center of the universe. It is Earth — not the sun, moon, stars, or other planets — that was created first by God on Day One of Creation Week.”
    I love this contradiction. I repeat: “theological” centre. Then Ol’ Hambo continues to make a physical with the word “first” and talking about days.

    @SK: “That the Universe has no center is counter intuitive and very difficult for the mind to grasp.”
    With the first part I agree, it’s counter intuitive. But with the second part, no. I got it immediately the first time I was confronted with it and I’m not really the smartest guy around. But the analogy I met was the surface of an inflating balloon with many dots on it.

    Our dear SC points out: “If we find aliens, the least important thing in the world will be Hambo’s reaction.”
    Sure, but it might be one of the funnier things. So I’m curious too. I also predict he will move the goal posts and bring up some definition that only allows to call Earthly life life.

  21. abeastwood writes, “If this were the only planet with life, that might even be evidence for a mediocre tinkerer who took a couple of billion years to figure out how to make eukaryotes.”

    True that — but then, how would we ever *know* that we were the only planet in the entire universe with life?

  22. Ham claims that secularists don’t think Earth is special, but I beg to differ. Earth is easily one of my four or five favorite planets.

  23. Actually, Earth probably is special, at least in the sense that conditions here have favored the evolution of intelligent life.

    First off, there needs to be long-term stability of climate. Having a large moon helps stabilize our axis tilt, thus keeping one of our hemispheres from facing the sun constantly. Also, the tidal forces generated by our large moon help heat the Earth’s interior, driving the plate tectonics that keep renewing our continents. Otherwise, we’d all be living in Dilbert’s Elbonia, waist-deep in a world-wide swamp. Erosion would have long ago worn all the continents down to sea level. We may have developed intelligence on a par with porpoises, but we most likely would be all fins when it comes to manipulating our environment. That would make developing technology difficult. (But then, we may have developed like the octopus — intelligent, *and* able to minipulate the environment. But who knows?)

    Besides long-term stability of climate, there needs to be something to drive evolutionary change — otherwise, we’d still be amoebas. In other words, we need sudden mass-extinctions to reward adaptability to a changed environment. Cosmic impacts fill the bill here. It’s a good bet we have more than our share of these cosmic impacts if the current ideas of how the moon was formed are true. If a planet-sized body hit the young Earth, there would have been a huge amount of debris splashed off into the Solar System, and not all of it would have been swept up soon after. It might be that most of the Earth-crossing asteroids are leftovers from that Great Collision.

    Now, this is not to say we are alone. The universe is too vast a place for that to be true. But my hunch (for what it’s worth) is that intelligence with a developed technology that would allow for interstellar communication is rare. Oh — and to even attempt such communication, an alien species would need to know that a whole universe exists outside of their home planet. In other words, they’d need to have clear, dark skies to see the stars. And if they didn’t have dry land, it’s not likely they would have ever developed radio technology, telescopes, aircraft, spaceships, etc., etc.

  24. Dave Luckett

    I don’t suppose this matters in any way – it’s certainly not going to make any difference to Ham, and it hasn’t got anything to do with actual reality, but Ham is doing the usual fundy trick and making up stuff to add to the text he calls sacred, while making kindergarten theological errors.

    “Earth is clearly the focus of God’s attention.” Ham imagines that God’s mind is like his mind, and only able to focus on one thing at a time.

    “And it was to this little planet that God sent His Son, Jesus Christ,” says Ham, adding “and to no other” in the margin, where he thinks nobody can see it.

    The Genesis account says that this Earth, the one that concerned the writers, was separated from the waters, the sky was made above it, and green plants appeared on it on the third day, before the “lights in the sky” were made on the fourth.

    Suppose this were correct – it’s not, of course, but go with Ham’s mindset – where does it say that this same process was not followed for other Earths, other planets, simultaneously? Ham already knows and concedes that scripture doesn’t say everything that happened. Why does he think that God didn’t create other Earths, just because He inspired the Genesis writers about the origin of this one? Does Ham really think that creating other Earths is beyond God’s powers, or that God is in some way constrained to inform us about it?

    Adding stuff into scripture is supposed to be a no-no. Limiting the power or constraining the Will of Almighty God is supposed to be another. Ham does both, but the second is by far the more perilous, theologically. Ham has reduced the Creator to a human scale, which is rank heresy, but worse: it’s actually that Ham has reduced the Creator to Ham’s own scale. Ham actually thinks himself to be the measure of God.

    Now, that is pride, the first of the deadly sins, swollen to blasphemous heights. From a pastoral and theological point of view, then, long before we deal with Ham’s scientific ignorance, before we come to grips with his misrepresentation of scripture, or even his heresy, we are faced with the desperate peril in which he places his soul.

    Again and again, what I find most galling about creationists is not their ignorance, nor their misrepresentation and downright lies about the science, nor even their obvious and self-serving logical errors, but their pride and their hypocrisy. Ham’s words are obviously, blatantly, manifestly in conflict with his own professed beliefs about scripture, which is rank hypocrisy; but that is rooted in hubris so monstrous that it induces nausea to contemplate it. In his pride, he is willing to add to scripture and, even worse, to presume to dictate to God Almighty what He may or may not do.

    I confess with shame that there are times when I wish that Ham and those like him could be brought face-to-face with the God they so belittle. Alas, I doubt the existence of any such god, or such a judgement. Justice for Ham will be human justice, the only kind we know, and it will consist of his marginalisation, irrelevance, and impotence.

  25. Evidence that Ham is sinking into madness. Sad, if it weren’t so amusing.

  26. Actually, I think madness would be a step up for someone like Ham.

    If he were legally insane, he would at least have an excuse for the steaming piles of [beep beep boop] he spews out, and we could feel a little compassion for the sufferings of a fellow human being rather than contempt for an outrageous hustler…

  27. I’m shocked at the countless hundreds of millions of dollars that have been spent over the years in the desperate and fruitless search for extraterrestrial life. … Of course, secularists are desperate to find life in outer space, as they believe that would provide evidence that life can evolve in different locations and given the supposed right conditions! The search for extraterrestrial life is really driven by man’s rebellion against God in a desperate attempt to supposedly prove evolution!”

    Oh, please. If extraterrestrial life, even intelligent life, were found, creationists would insist it didn’t “prove evolution,” because obviously (in their view) God specially created that life too. (Or, of course, they’d say the evidence was fake.) The Bible doesn’t mention kangaroos, either, but they exist; creationists merely see them as another of God’s creations on the fifth day.

    And do they even care that according to Genesis the first three days of Creation preceded the creation of the sun? So how could there an “evening” and a “morning” (in that order, per Hebrew custom) on those days?

  28. Dave Luckett, for incomprehensible reasons, your comment got held up in the spam filter, but I’ve liberated it.

  29. When the Europeans learned of people living in lands of the “New World”, lands not mentioned in the Bible, the Christians didn’t know what Biblical sense to make of those people. Were they even human?
    You mention kangaroos. But they are not as problematic as the fact that the Bible does not mention the majority of life – the microbes. What day is there available for the creation of two of the three domains, as well as substantial parts of the third domain?
    It has long been noticed that there is a problem with the Sun appearing only after there have been three days. One ancient solution is that the text says that the Sun was placed in the firmament on the fourth day, not that it was created on the fourth day, and finds that as providing wiggle room.
    People find ingenious ways of making the Bible concord with what they want to believe. And they also insist that people who disagree with them are not permitted that same license.
    And as far as Earth being special for the existence of life. One of the favorite arguments of the evolution-deniers is that the existence of life is in violation of some law of nature, and thus requires supernatural intervention. So much for the idea of Earth being fit for life. (Not that a mere contradiction is any deterrent to creationism.)

  30. If the universe is infinitely large in all directions then Ken is correct in that the Earth is the center of the universe, unfortunately so is every other point in space…so Ken is insignificant again!!!

  31. There are also finite geometries, a surface like a sphere for example, which have no center:

    Closed manifolds> in “Shape of the universe” in Wikipedia.

  32. @Dave Luckett: Eloquently stated, spot-on critique of Ham. It should be posted on any serious religious site that allows comments.

  33. Applause @ Dave Luckett’s eloquent post!

  34. Just finished Dave Luckett’s eloquent post!
    Excellent, and many good points that throws the BS right back into Kens face as he is inventing BS and limiting his own Omni-fiend.

  35. Hm, usually I look down on theology with contempt and disdain, but DL makes me reconsider.

    “what I find most galling about creationists is ….. their pride and their hypocrisy.”
    How many thumbs up am I allowed to hand out?

  36. Dave Luckett

    Thank you. I have no scientific background, my brain doesn’t do mathematics, and I am reduced to awe and deference before those that do. But I can manage history, the Bible, and some aspects of theology and philosophy, and I am an autodidact in rhetoric. Every cobbler to his last, say I.

    One thing I have noticed about most real scientists with real expertise in the disciplines in which creationists disport themselves: the scientists generally don’t use rhetoric. They simply present facts and the necessary inferences from them. To their minds, this should be completely sufficient, and they’re right. So it should be. Alas, it is not, when confronted with the fundamentalist mindset.

    I know this is close to insane, for a realist, but to a moiety of human beings, inference from fact is not preferred above assertion from authority. Unless that entire worldview can be corrected, merely providing the facts and the chains of logic that bind them will not suffice. Other approaches must be adopted, therefore, at least for the nonce, if these people are to be engaged at all.

    Hence my assuming the vocabulary and regalia of the patriarch, and denouncing Ham from the eminence of outraged theology. And here’s the curious thing: that denunciation is perfectly valid, for defensible values of “valid”; but it has the further virtue of appealing to the mindset of Ham’s own audience. It might be impossible to persuade them that science has it right; but it they might be persuaded that Ham has it wrong in their own terms.

    That may not actually reduce the numbers of science deniers, but if successful it will further divide them. They have always been prone to schism. One perfectly legitimate way to defeat your opponents is to cause them to turn on each other.

    And, he said guiltily, it’s great fun.