It is generally agreed that early versions of Genesis were first committed to writing during the period known as the Babylonian captivity, starting in approximately 600 BC. The degree to which the Hebrews appropriated the views of their more advanced conquerors isn’t known — except that the Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh existed in 2100 BC (written versions have been found from a few centuries later), and it undoubtedly served as inspiration for the tale of Noah and the Flood. Some have even suggested that it influenced the tale of the Garden of Eden.
Young Earth creationists insist that what they call creation science — based on Genesis — must be true, and all modern science to the contrary is not only blasphemous, but it’s based on false assumptions — i.e., verifiable observations and testable hypotheses. Given the Babylonian influence on Genesis, one might be curious about Babylonian science. Go ahead, search for it. Wikipedia has no entry for that topic, which isn’t surprising — there was nothing we’d recognize as science in those days. What we call science is quite new — it began with people like Galileo and Newton, and it incorporates the logic of Aristotle — of which the Babylonians knew nothing.
Nevertheless, the Babylonians weren’t idiots. Like other cultures of their time, they had some technology, such as agriculture and metallurgy, and they built cities. They had a calendar. Astronomy was primitive, as with all cultures before the invention of the telescope. Being limited to naked eye observations of the heavens, they believed The Earth Does Not Move. And being limited in geographic knowledge by their primitive transportation methods, it’s understandable that they thought The Earth Is Flat. Those beliefs found their way into several scripture passages, which we cited in those two links.
Although young Earth creationists have abandoned the idea of a flat Earth, despite its unambiguous biblical support, and most seem to have accepted the idea that the Earth moves as part of the solar system, they still insist on the truth of everything else in Genesis. Why?
The creation scientists at Answers in Genesis (AIG) — the creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — posted this a few days ago: Biblical Authority and the Book of Genesis. It was written by ol’ Hambo himself, so you you know it’s authoritative. You’ve heard all this before, so we’ll give you only a few excerpts, with bold font added by us:
If you can’t trust the Bible when it talks about geology, biology, and astronomy, then how can you trust the Bible when it talks about morality and salvation? The issues of morality and salvation are dependent upon the history in the Bible being true. God does not separate morality and salvation from geology, biology, and astronomy. However, it’s popular today for liberal scholars to claim that the Bible doesn’t speak about science.
But if Hambo is so devoted to what the bible says, then why doesn’t he believe the Earth is flat? He’s never explained that. He does, however, think it’s the center of the universe — see The Center of the Universe, where AIG says:
Present astronomical knowledge recognizes no singular geometrical point in our universe — in accordance with evolutionary ideas. Consequently, there is no geometrical center and also no defined edge. No place in the universe has a special position.
However, the earth occupies the central position in the entire universe because of its God-given role, even though it may not be in the geometrical center. The first astronomical object that God created was the earth; this clearly indicates its importance amongst all of the other stars and planets. God’s attention focuses on this planet …. . The clearest indication of the earth’s central position is that God’s own Son was sent here.
You might think that if they can wiggle around like that — and completely ignore the numerous biblical declarations that the Earth is flat — they ought to be able to accommodate the rest of science. But you’d be wrong. Back to Hambo’s essay:
You see, the Bible teaches about geology. It states that there was a global Flood. The Bible also teaches about biology. God made distinct kinds of animals and plants. The Bible deals with astronomy. God make the sun, moon, and stars on Day Four for signs and for seasons. Now the Bible doesn’t deal with chemical equations or the laws of physics that helped put man on the moon, but the Bible does give the big picture in geology, biology, and other sciences, to enable people to have the right way of thinking about the universe.
Uh huh, the big picture. Let’s read on:
The history in Genesis 1–11 is foundational to the rest of the Bible. Incidentally, liberal teachers understand the best way to get rid of the Bible. First, get rid of the history (the geology and so on), because once the history’s gone, it’s then just some pie-in-the-sky religion, divorced from its foundation, and ultimately it will collapse. The Bible has been disconnected from the real world and relegated to just a collection of stories. No wonder people are leaving the Church.
The essay is far too long. Here’s one last excerpt:
Friends, we need to contend for the faith. There is a spiritual battle in this world, and it’s about time Christians were willing to stand up for what we believe, be bold, and deal with these issues. The creation movement is part of a movement that God has started to get people back to the foundation of His Word, beginning with Genesis.
So there you are. Hambo — on behalf of God — is engaged in a spiritual battle. The really tragic part is that he’s battling for Babylonian science — which doesn’t exist. But that’s where he wants to take his stand.
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