Answers in Genesis: God and Spider-Man

For your weekend entertainment, we turn to the creation scientists at Answers in Genesis (AIG) — the creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo)

This gem appears at their website: Does Spider-Man Really Exist?, written by Bodie Hodge, who has a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Southern Illinois University. Instead of pursuing an engineering career, he’s a speaker, writer, and researcher for AIG. Not only that, but ol’ Hambo has said, here that Bodie is his son-in-law. Powerful credentials indeed! Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

Have you ever seen this “existence of God vs. existence of Spider-Man” image floating around on blogs and the internet?

We’ve never seen that image before, and we won’t copy it because we don’t know who owns it. There’s not much to see. It’s a picture of the bible, captioned: “Proof that God exists,” and a picture of a Spider-Man comic book, captioned: “Proof that Spiderman exists.” It’s cute, but crude. Perhaps it’s someone’s response to what ol’ Hambo said during his debate with Bill Nye. When the subject of evidence for creationism was raised, Hambo said: “I have a book!”

Bodie doesn’t discuss Hambo’s claim. He’s fixated only on the Spider-Man analogy. He says:

The atheist looks at this and says, “Ha! There is no God, otherwise you Christians must admit Spider-Man exists (which is clearly ludicrous) because of this ‘equal and opposite’ book that has Spider-Man in it!” But is this really a good argument?

No one is crazy enough to make such an argument, but Bodie wants his drooling readers to think it’s a common tactic. Here’s how he deals with it:

Often a Christian will look at this and laugh for an entirely different reason: this analogy is a poor one. It is like two people arguing over which of the cars below would win a race, thinking they are evenly matched:

Then there’s another pic we won’t copy. It’s two identical cars, one painted a simple blue, labeled “Biblical worldview,” and the other jazzed up with a painted flame job, labeled “Secular worldview.” Regarding this, Bodie says:

But when we open up the hoods of both cars we find that one works to explain the world and one doesn’t.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! In the next pic, under the hood of the biblical worldview car is what seems to be an automobile engine, but under the hood of the secular worldview car there’s just some garbage, including a tin can and a banana peal. This is quite an argument! As if more were needed, Bodie continues to make his point:

When you open up the Spider-Man comic it simply doesn’t explain the world. It is not even in a position to do so. It is full of contradictions both internally and with reality (e.g., that mutations will make you better and certain spider bites can give you superpowers). Spider-Man is about as believable as a real-life event as the evolutionary story.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Bodie has even more to say:

The Spider-Man comic was not given by an inerrant Spider-Man who influenced author Stan Lee to write the “inspired” text of the Spider-Man comic which was to be held without error. This causes great problems for things like epistemology (i.e., the theory of knowledge). Spider-Man cannot explain origins or why mankind is in a position to be able to think logically, do science, or have a consistent morality.

Yes, Spider-Man fails all over the place — unlike the bible. Bodie continues:

When it comes down to it, this image is merely a false analogy, a logical fallacy that tries to equate a Spider-Man comic with the Bible. The Bible is epistemologically correct, explains why science is possible, gives a consistent basis for morality, logic, and truth, and is without contradictions both internally and with reality. The image attempts both to demote the Bible which is from God to merely the status of any humanly authored book elevate man’s word to be equal with God’s Word.

Do AIG’s drooling readers understand it yet? In case they don’t, Bodie explains evens more:

In other words, they are erroneously asking you to trust that man is equal to God to make the analogy work. I don’t have that kind of blind faith in man and his arbitrary opinions to put him on par with God. I find it laughable that people actually think this is a good argument against the God of the Bible.

If you were planning to use the Spider-Man analogy, be advised that Bodie finds it laughable. Then he babbles on for a few more paragraphs, and finishes with this:

You cannot escape death and you cannot hide from God and you will give an account for everything, especially your sin. God will judge you righteously. He already knows all that you’ve done. Why not ask for forgiveness now before it is too late?

Your Curmudgeon finds himself in a strange position. We agree with Bodie — to the extent that offering a Spider-Man comic as a rebuttal to the bible is a goofy thing to do. But we doubt that anyone has ever seriously done that. Does Bodie think it’s a genuine challenge to ol’ Hambo’s theology? Who knows? Maybe he does. All we know is that he took the time to rebut it. He has used his formidable intellect to defeat what may be the ultimate straw-man.

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

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24 responses to “Answers in Genesis: God and Spider-Man

  1. a banana peal

    Great image!

  2. Holding The Line In Florida

    Just when you think that you have heard the dumbest thing (Comfort and The Banana) in the world, and human stupidity can’t get any worse. Hambo and company prove you wrong! What depths can they possibly sink to?

  3. michaelfugate

    Depends on what one means by “real.” Every fictional character “exists” within the pages of a book, on film, or in one’s imagination.

  4. Maybe next time they mr.b will deal with real issues. or not.

  5. The Bible is epistemologically correct, explains why science is possible, gives a consistent basis for morality, logic, and truth, and is without contradictions both internally and with reality.

    I’m trying to find anything true in that sentence. Maybe it’s “epistemologically correct” to a biblical literalist, but nothing else is true.

    Bodie is probably not able to set aside his indoctrination, but if for a week or two he could read the bible from the perspective that there is only the material world, he would find nothing whatsoever in the bible that would convince him that he was wrong and that God and other supernatural beings exist. It would be like reading Harry Potter (except Harry Potter is much more entertaining and has better moral lessons).

    The only way to accept the bible as true is to believe it is true before one reads it. In that sense it is no different that Spiderman.

  6. The atheist looks at this and says, “Ha! There is no God, otherwise you Christians must admit Spider-Man exists (which is clearly ludicrous) because of this ‘equal and opposite’ book that has Spider-Man in it!” But is this really a good argument?

    Marvel Comics should sue regarding this defamatory, copyright-infringing use of one of its major characters. And as a subsidiary of the Walt Disney Company, it has access to some really good, really punishment-minded lawyers.

  7. Mark Germano

    Only a real scientific outfit would spend time attacking an Internet meme. Good on ya, AIG.

  8. waldteufel

    Just when you thought that the mental dwarfs at AiG couldn’t display more ignorance than previously shown by them . . . . .

  9. i think this arguement is mostly used against people who use archeology to claim the bible isn lying

  10. Charles Deetz ;)

    I don’t have that kind of blind faith in man and his arbitrary opinions to put him on par with God.

    Hmmm, I just trusted man and his arbitrary opinions of physics to fly. Haven’t trusted god to help me fly, it hasn’t worked for anyone. If I thought it was a strong argument, I’d make a meme of it and submit it to this dullard to be refuted.

  11. Whenever I see the unique name of that particular “creation scientist”, I find myself recalling a question on the latest edition of the CSAT exam. The CSAT is the Creationist version of the SAT which homeschooled YECs take in order to qualify for admission to any unaccredited institution of hired [sic] learnin’ and what-not.

    The vocabulary segment of the CSAT includes the following multiple-choice test question:

    29) The Bodie Hodge is:

    a) the fifth pillar of YECism whereby every Young Earth Creationist must resolve to visit the Creation Museum at least once in his/her lifetime. (Obviously, every pilgrimage to the Creation Museum is wholly a holy journey (a Hodge), but only that first pilgrimage is the mandatory every Bodie Hodge.

    b) the shortened, colloquially-corrupted phrase for that required-for-everyone journey (i.e., the “everybody Hajj”) which Sofia Vergara and most phonetic-spelling-prone creationists call the “EFF-va-ree BO-dee Hajj.”

    c) the only hand which can top a Royal Fizzbin—-but only on the first Tuesday following a New Moon during a month with no more than 30 days and only if the first player to the dealer’s immediate right is a third-generation Young Earth Creationist through the maternal line. (Of course, the chances of actually getting a Bodie Hodge are . . . well . . . they’re of Biblical proportions. Some would even say that getting one would be a miracle and just about as likely. Others would simply say that getting one for a Sunday Morning service would be really really stupid.)

    d) all of the above

  12. @Prof. Tertius
    It just occurred to me that a natural straight, flush, etc., is one not using a wild card. There must be some significance to this.

  13. michaelfugate

    I wonder what the definition of Rafael Cruz is?

    A boat trip on the Costa Concordia?

    Looking for “dates” in a loo?

  14. “He has used his formidable intellect to defeat what may be the ultimate straw-man.”
    Not entirely. The analogy and the picture are used as a rebuttal to the claim “The Bible is proof for God”. The funny thing is, when we keep this in mind, that almost everything BH brings up against the Spiderman comic can be used against the Bible as well ….

  15. mnb0 says:

    The analogy and the picture are used as a rebuttal to the claim “The Bible is proof for God”.

    I’ve never seen such a rebuttal. Far better would be the Iliad as proof of the Olympian gods. It’s much better writing than most of the bible, and it pre-dates Genesis.

  16. Dave Luckett

    It’s factually incorrect to say that NO atheist uses this argument, that the Bible stories about God are to be trusted exactly as much as the comic’s stories about Spiderman, and for the same reason: that both are fictional characters. I’ve seen that argument made, over and over. The reason it’s made is that it’s difficult to answer.

    The theist responses I’ve seen are the argument from consequence: “If no God, then no explanation for (you name it, from the Universe itself through natural law and on down)” ie, God explains and no God doesn’t; and ultimately, the argumentum ad populum. Something along the lines of “very many people have seen miracles and believed”.

    Bodie makes a vague wave in the direction of the first, but then jumps the tracks. After having pointed out the unreality of spider-bites granting super powers – which is so much less credible than a piece of fruit granting knowledge – he simply proceeds to assert that his claims are real, on account of they just are, that’s all. God is not only real, a priori, He inspired the texts. And since Bodie thinks that the texts are inerrant, he necessarily removes the possibility of human error altogether. So Bodie doesn’t merely think the texts are inspired; he thinks they were dictated, and no transmission errors ever happened, either. But even more, Bodie thinks that word “inerrant” implies “if read literally”, when it so doesn’t.

    So, to my mind, Bodie’s argument fails not because it creates a strawman. Whoever set that billboard up was making that exact argument. It fails because it catastrophically fails to address the problem. The problem is this: What is there, apart from Bodie’s superstitions, to say that the Bible stories about creation at least, are not fiction, just like Spiderman?

  17. … the Iliad…It’s much better writing than most of the bible, and it pre-dates Genesis.

    I had plenty of Classical Studies majors who thought that Homeric Greek heavily dosed with Ionic dialect was downright brutal–and the dactylic hexameter only rubbed it in. If I had to compare that kind of Greek epic poem with a 66+ books anthology–everything from court chronicles to raw history to Hebrew poetry to mind-numbing misc. laws, detritus, and insomnia rivals of the Congressional Record’s “additional remarks”–well, the phrase “apples and oranges” would hardly cover it. Even so, I’m very impressed by your breadth of reading. Not many get their hands dirty before rendering a verdict.

    Yes, as to final written forms, the Iliad is somewhat older. The much more interesting question—which we will probably never be able to answer—is how old were the oral source traditions of each which eventually got written down. Did they get transmitted through multiple languages? How faithful to the original oral traditions were the eventual written forms? Incredibly, not many scholars ever broach those issues.

  18. When you open up the Spider-Man comic it simply doesn’t explain the world.
    You know they do have a point. If Spider-Man contained a book of Genesis then it would be the equal of the bible because they would both be complete non-rational world-views with equal probabilities of actual explaining the larger world we live in: zero.
    People have argued that the Bible contains the best Bronze Age knowledge of the time but I’m beginning to doubt that view as well. There were significant Minoan and Ancient Greek cultures that had a more advanced worldview, the bible is at best the highpoint of ancient Middle East culture as seen through the prism of the Council of Nicaea.

  19. Geez, could he be more wrong? Everyone knows that Marvel’s version of the Genesis story can be found in the pages of Devil Dinosaur, not Spiderman. (No, seriously)

  20. I hate to inform you, but BWAHAHAHAHAHA!, ad-hom attacks, foolish jesting, and masking your own insecurities via mocking others, not to mention not addressing the arguments are not arguments at all… The biblical view does have explanations, clearly you and/or your worldview does not.

    Also, an analogy is not an argument. But then you know that already… surely you do…

    And just FYI, I’ve encountered many atheists who say the very same kind o things that Bodie mentions. In fact, those sorts of things are their favorite means of getting the focus off of themselves and the fact that their own worldview is utterly bankrupt and completely irrational.

    And that is, ’nuff said.

  21. The biblical view does have explanations

    Name one that holds water.

  22. michaelfugate

    If analogy is not an argument, then why do creationists use the analogy of human intelligent design as proof of a god’s intelligent design? That’s all they’ve got and it fails.

  23. I betcha Five Quatloos that “Anonymous” above is none other than Kenny Boy Ham.

    “I’ve encountered many atheists…”; “…worldview…”; “The biblical view does have explanations…” — all sound so much like Ham. And as for that last “Anonymous” quote — “The biblical view does have explanations…” — sure it does. “Goddidit.” It’s the universal, fits-all explanation for anything and everything, and thus explains nothing.

    (Note to “Anonymous” — my apologies if you are not Ken Ham. I’m sorry I insulted you.)

  24. Foolish jesting? Sir, my jesting is, at its worst, dumb. On its best days it has been described as witless and idiotic.

    But, foolish? Never.

    So, thanks for the compliment!