Ken Ham’s Proof of Creationism

This is it, dear reader. This is what you’ve always feared would show up one day, and we’ve found it.

It’s a video presentation by Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the Australian entrepreneur who has become the ayatollah of Appalachia. He’s famed for his creationist ministry, Answers in Genesis (AIG) and for the mind-boggling Creation Museum.

In three-and-a-half power-packed minutes, ol’ Hambo gives us his best proof of creationism. Watch it and be amazed! He presents over a dozen different points in rapid succession, and each of them is irrefutable!

After you’ve watched it, you’ll be in shock, wondering how you could have been such a Darwinist fool all your life. But it’s not too late to change your ways. This video may be the heaven-sent instrument that saves you from the Lake of Fire.

Don’t be afraid. Click on the video. Watch. Listen. Take notes. Learn. And then tell us what you think.

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

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43 responses to “Ken Ham’s Proof of Creationism

  1. Hambone, apparently you don’t realize that there are dozens (maybe more) incidents reported in the bible that never happened. Examples include the alleged exodus from Egypt, the battle of Jericho, the alleged world-wide flood, the earth standing still (since the sun doesn’t go around the earth, that tale would, if true, have meant the earth stopped spinning. Since the velocity at the equator is about 1600 kph, and everything loose on the surface would keep going at that speed till it hit something, that would be a mess!). And lot’s of others. Since the bible’s wrong on so many easily checkable physical events, why are you deluded that it’s right about anything?

  2. Best thing since sliced bananas.

  3. “Since the bible’s wrong on so many easily checkable physical events, why are you deluded that it’s right about anything?”

    People who are insecure in their beliefs are able to ignore anything that threatens their belief system. Ham is either insecure or he’s a fraud, I think it’s likely that he’s both

  4. Actually he’s got it exactly backwards, no surprise. If there were no God there would have to be God “substitutes” to explain the order we see in nature. The laws of nature are those “substitutes.” In other words, the order seen in nature is not the order created by a Hand of God, it is the order created by natural laws. Just as atheism would predict!

    I think he knows this. Notice how hurriedly and stumblingly he spoke?

  5. You should really give a warning in the E-mail notice, that if we open it, we will be face to face with a scary and dangerous man. I jumped out of my seat and to make it worse i just finished lunch. Thanks!

  6. Does he have a telescope? If he doesn’t I’m not going to watch. I mean, Ol’ Hambo isn’t as sexy as the Good Rev at all, so at least I want a telescope. Ask Freud why.

  7. abeastwood wrote:
    ….the earth standing still (since the sun doesn’t go around the earth, that tale would, if true, have meant the earth stopped spinning.
    ….and everything loose on the surface would keep going at that speed till it hit something, that would be a mess!

    Obviously, people have been making these types of observation for many centuries and Ken Ham is very aware of them. But such counter-arguments involve ineffective logic. After all, the argument is basically saying:

    “I refute your claim that a particular miracle happened because it would have taken additional miracles to prevent nasty side-effects of that particular miracle.”

    Or to put it more specifically:

    “I refute your claim that God made the sun stand still happened (i.e., a miracle) because it would have required God to do additional miracles (e.g., cancelling out inertia/angular-momentum) to prevent nasty side-effects of that main miracle.”

    See what I mean? In the mind of Ken Ham & Co., you are totally clueless and illogical. After all, if God is capable of one amazing miracle which defies laws of physics, why not many?

    In public debate contexts, this is the sort of blunder that most Young Earth Creationist debaters know how to jump on and play for all of the laughs and affirmations they can get from the audience. After all, they can laugh and say, “Apparently my opponent–who tells us that he doesn’t even believe God exists—nevertheless knows which miracles God can and cannot do! His logic is basically that God couldn’t do miracle #1 because it would require also doing miracle #2. Talk about circular reasoning! Also, I’d love to see him explain for us how he goes about drawing the line between possible miracles and impossible miracles when he’s already told us that he has determined that there is no God at all!” (Big applause here. And if the previous comments are delivered in a sufficiently mocking and chuckling sort of way, the audience will laugh aloud as well.)

    When debate opponents try to apply scientific arguments to particular concepts/claims which are philosophical or theological, they encourage the conflation that Ken Ham wants: He always says that “Science is simply knowledge.” That allows him to pretend that “creation science” is actual science (without regard to the scientific method) and that even theology is
    science because it is more “knowledge.” It allows him to ignore the rigor and the methodologies of science while trying to gain from the hard-earned prestige of science and its credibility among the general public.

    A Young Earth Creationist much smarter than Ken Ham might even label his blunder An Argument from Personal Incredulity fallacy. And somebody like Kent Hovind might truly “ham it up” (pun intended) by saying, “If God is powerful enough to create a universe and the laws of physics, how can anyone be so illogical as to assume that God couldn’t modify or even temporarily suspend Newton’s laws of physics, the natural laws which he created in the first place!?” (Audience gives standing ovation.)

    Of course, “creation scientists” (wink wink) have posited other ways to understand the Hebrew text, such as the appearance of the sun standing still when, in actual fact according to them, some sort of diffraction phenomena occurred which caused the sun to appear high in the afternoon sky even though it was actually over the horizon. I even remember a YEC back in the 1980’s suggest that a star “went supernova” in correspondence to the sun’s ecliptic. (Yes, perhaps Joshua didn’t know it but God actually provided a “substitute sun!”)

    In most cases, science is only fully relevant to a given debate point when a creationist makes a specific scientific claim or tries to subvert science for non-scientific purposes. So when a debate opponent introduces science to address a theological or philosophical issue, things usually go downhill from there. For example, suppose a YEC argues says “We believe the Bible when it tells us that Noah and family survived a global flood.” The debate opponent will often follow with a PowerPoint outline showing perhaps “Five Kinds of Scientific Evidence Which Debunks Noah’s Global Flood in Genesis.” One argument will typically be something like, “There’s not enough water on the planet to top all of the mountains” to surpass a depth of over five miles.” Even if supported by lots of calculations, even the kids in the pews are thinking, “Don’t give us your science. If more water is needed for the task, God can create more water just as he can send a flood in the first place!”

    Of course, if the YEC claims “Here ten types of scientific evidence which prove a global flood 4000+ years ago.” Now the opponent has much more to sink his/her teeth into and the “creation science” can be dissected. But the original scenario was about a statement of faith and the science took a backseat to the theological claim “I believe God exists and can do things like send floods—and even erase the evidence after the fact!”

    Obviously, an even bigger mistake is to take on the specific Bible interpretations of the Hamites without having the background for it. Bill Nye continues to brag of his silly “the moon isn’t a light” blooper in his media interviews. It only serves to underscore Young Earth Creationists’ views of his ignorance of the Bible (and in that case, common sense and English language comprehension skills.) They may not understand Hebrew lexicography, but they do understand English lexicography, even if they don’t know that term!

  8. cnocspeireag

    I claim no originality for this, but others have pointed out that the god of the bible is rapidly becoming impotent. He created the unimaginably vast universe in six days about six thousand years ago. About three thousand years ago he could make the sun stand still in the sky. A couple of thousand years ago he could ruin a Jewish temple. Now he can just about arrange a stain on the wall of a urinal.

  9. cnocspeireag says: “I claim no originality for this, but others have pointed out that the god of the bible is rapidly becoming impotent.”

    I wrote something about that a few years ago: The Law of Diminishing Consequences.

  10. @cnocspeireag

    Now he can just about arrange a stain on the wall of a urinal.

    Hey, I can do that!

    Given training, of course.

  11. michaelfugate

    That’s not much evidence.

  12. Ken jams his bizarre worldview down his listener’s gullets in only 3.5 minutes.
    Its a miracle !

  13. I think Christianity has some good qualities. Forgiveness is one. Its a shame for education AND Christianity, that people like Ham can actually get money from people by being a dogma Nazi and science denier.

  14. Professor Tertius, would a fundamentalist/creationist say that God created/wrote/ originated the laws of physics? Would the fundamentalist then say that God can defy His own laws at will?

    To a scientist, such an argument is absurd because the laws of physics are inviolable. But would this argument make sense to a creationist? It’s a bit like the old question — “Can God make a mountain so large that He Himself can’t move it?” As a youth, I considered this question as evidence that God didn’t exist, or at least wasn’t omnipotent. I would think the question about the laws of physics would be equivalent. The laws of physics are inviolable. If God can violate these laws, then they are not laws.

  15. Dave Luckett

    “If the first verse of the Bible is not true, then of course the rest of the Bible is not true”.

    Aaaaaaand…. right away, right there, first words, first sentence, catastrophic logic fail. Let’s not even bother with Pilate’s question – that’s far too advanced for something like this.

    How does that follow, Ken, you maundering stultified dolt? Have you never in your life encountered the idea that nothing is all-or-nothing? Is what you call your mind so rigidly encased in an authoritarian carapace that you cannot see how obviously, how blatantly, that misconception denies reality?

    The rest is same old, same old. Ken’s biological knowledge is not much advanced on the understandings of the iron age people who wrote the Bible, and is probably less practical. But he is pitching to people whose knowledge is about the same. He can get away with his babble about “kinds” to them. They’ll never stop to think what is meant by “kind” and realise that there isn’t an answer.

    The same for his geological misinformation. “Millions of dead things in rock layers all over the earth… tells us that there really has been a global flood”.

    And that’s right, in a sense. That’s what it tells him and his idiot myrmidons. That’s not what it tells people who have actually studied the earth. “Layers”, Ken. What is it about the freaking PLURAL that you don’t get?

    “If there is no Creator… then nothing makes sense.” Pristine; a perfect null. See the little phantom words after that? “…to me.” What does Ken mean by “makes sense”, anyway?

    He means something like, “conveys a moral that I can parse despite my crippled misinformed deformity of a mind”. He doesn’t follow the idea of cascaded effects from simple causes, and he must insert intent into what he doesn’t understand, so he has to interpolate a mind.

    Don’t get me wrong. Ken’s an idiot who makes his very comfortable living by saying things only an idiot would say, but he’s not an idiot in all things. He knows what particular idiotic things his audience wants to hear. He’s articulate, and has learned the basic truth that all con-men and propagandists learn – that anything said with brazen confidence sounds truthy to the ignorant. Anything at all.

    Prof T reminds us of our own logic fails, which I acknowledge. I, too, have argued that the miracles of the Bible require many more miracles to stand up. I suppose I could remind the Prof that these further miracles are uncovenanted and unattested in the text, but that’s irrelevant. I think more is to be done by examining the outcomes of the miracles than the miracles themselves.

    So… God brought the flood, and killed everyone bar one family. Because everyone was evil, except them. Hands up those who can believe that? Ken does. God brought the plague that killed all the first-born of Egypt, and this was good, because it extorted a concession from Pharaoh, at the mere cost of millions of bereaved parents. Who nods along to that? Why, Ken.

    God brought down the walls of Jericho, and so everyone in the city was massacred except Rahab and her household, because. That’s only right, thinks Ken. God stopped the sun, to allow more vengeance to be taken on Israel’s enemies, who had committed the fatal crime of thinking that the land they had lived on for time out of mind was their own. Well, obviously they had to die. Right, Ken? Right!

    Miracles all. God did all of them. And Ken worships this god.

    Which tells me all I want to know about Ken’s god, and Ken himself.

  16. Prof T., I was in such a hurry to write, I missed the fact you had already answered my question —
    “And somebody like Kent Hovind might truly “ham it up” (pun intended) by saying, “If God is powerful enough to create a universe and the laws of physics, how can anyone be so illogical as to assume that God couldn’t modify or even temporarily suspend Newton’s laws of physics, the natural laws which he created in the first place!?”

    Again, to a scientist, this would be evidence that God is not powerful enough to create a universe and the laws of physics, because if they can be suspended, even if only by God, then they are not laws at all; just “guidelines of physics”.

  17. Nice work, Dave Luckett“Aaaaaaand…. right away, right there, first words, first sentence, catastrophic logic fail.”

    Nailed it.

  18. Och Will said:
    Ken jams his bizarre worldview down his listener’s gullets in only 3.5 minutes.

    But that’s what makes it so effective, he can cram so much crap into his listener’s (rubes) ears before they have a chance to think or even to question what he says, nor do they care to. He’s just reinforcing all the nonsense they’ve been spoon-fed all their lives.

  19. I like how the uniform consistency of the laws of physics (“uniformitarianism”) is evidence for God and the Bible, yet relying on that uniform consistency to determine the age of things scientifically is completely unreliable, according to creationists.

  20. Questions from RetiredGuy:
    Professor Tertius, would a fundamentalist/creationist say that God created/wrote/ originated the laws of physics?

    Yes. Most would say it just that casually. The more sophisticated/educated in science would be not just more nuanced. They would be more prone to say that (1) God created a universe filled with consistent natural processes; (2) people have observed and described those processes so that they are summarized as “scientific laws”. They are descriptions, not boundaries or limitations per se. (3) In situations involving miracles or “supernatural events” God didn’t necessarily defy or cancel his own laws of physics so much as he exploited other laws of physics that we just haven’t discovered yet. or the people who observed them didn’t have reason to describe nor would they have understood other factors which perhaps we today would understand as related to what happened.

    The “creation science” types like Dr. Hugh Ross are becoming more and more “sophisticated” in tending to explain miracles and the “supernatural” in terms of higher-dimension physics and all sorts of technical stuff that shy’s away from the “magic” sounding explanations and more of the “God of the Laws of Physics.” (In general, OECs are far more conscious of the scientific issues than YECs and usually serve a much more educated constituency. Obviously, for someone to consider Kent Hovind, Ray Comfort, or Ken Ham their science authority or any kind of authority, ya gotta be talking about digging right on past the bottom of the barrel and be involved in full-time underwater spelunking.)

    As a youth, I considered this question [God making huge rock so big he couldn’t lift it] as evidence that God didn’t exist, or at least wasn’t omnipotent.

    And that is unfortunate because (1) you were given a wrong definition of OMNIPOTENCE [“God can do anything”] which is not what the Bible describes, and (2) among the things which the Bible says God can’t or doesn’t do is BE ILLOGICAL or self-contradictory. Self-contradiction has never been considered a capability reflective of power and majesty. (Human language is fully capable of expressing nonsense that has no correspondence with reality. Variants of the “irresistible force meets immovable object” classic is no more meaningful when God is substituted for “irresistible force”. God can’t make a married bachelor, but that is NOT because God lacks some kind of power (i.e., the power to be illogical and to treat non-logic as equally as meaningful as logic.) Thus, the “Can God make a rock so big that he can’t lift it?” question is not relevant to omnipotence because it is not qualitatively any more significant than asking “Can rock under work color nine?” (Quantitatively they differ in the number of jarring conflicts with reality, but qualitatively they are equally irrelevant to omnipotence.)

    I would think the question about the laws of physics would be equivalent. The laws of physics are inviolable. If God can violate these laws, then they are not laws.

    Dr. Hugh Ross would probably be very sympathetic to that first part but would explain a misunderstanding of scientific law in the last part. (A law in science is not a “boundary” or limitation per se. It is simply a DESCRIPTION, often quantitative.)

    What is the difference between “violate laws of science” and “surpass our understanding of science”? The answer is closely related to the old maxim about a less-developed culture encountering a technological culture: the latter is incapable of distinguishing magic from advanced technology. They look the same. Imagine a remote, low-tech tribe seeing a man in a helicopter for the first time. Unlike an airplane seen at a distance which looks very much like a bird in flight, a helicopter seems to defy all of the laws of nature (unless they have hummingbirds on their island.) A helicopter can fly slowly up, down, or any direction, hover, and make quick movements. Simply flying straight up seems to defy the law of gravity. Does it? No, not if you understand the propulsion system of a rotating wing (a propeller.) So when people talk about something violating the laws of physics, we are talking about utilizing natural processes (physics) that we don’t understand or haven’t yet learned about.

  21. RetiredGuy, I liked your questions so much—and they are so closely related to some that I’m writing up for a major essay—that I found myself writing what would probably make a 20 page journal article. And that is why I’ve just put a few bare essential comments above rather than turn the SC’ comment section into Volumes 1 through 4 of my expanded Systematic Theology. So I hope to finish the longer treatise soon and then I’ll post it to the Bible.and.Science.Forum blog at: https://bibleandscienceforum.wordpress.com/

    I’ll post a comment over here so that you know that a much better and more complete answer to your questions is ready.

    For now I’ll just say that I’ve heard your “story”—in terms of a negative experience with those very concepts—of someone concluding that these relatively simple theological claims were hopelessly illogical. But as so often happens with these topics, they tend to be mangled by “popular conceptions” of what people THINK is in the Bible and not what actually is. I’m not just describing another alternative interpretation of something ambiguous in the Bible. No, these are actually quite well agreed upon among theologians for many centuries and from many different traditions. But America seems to be “the land of Aunt Bertha’s Systematic Theology” where people will declare the most bizarre bologna as being “what the Bible says about this topic.”

    For example, I was reading a article on “Christian folkmyths”, or at least, that is MY term for these miscellaneous, mind-numbing “spiritual gleanings” common to the Bible Belt which claim to answer life’s most profound questions with Hallmark-card worthy nonsense that have nothing to do with the Bible and have never had any place in any systematic theology. I’ll give just one example, one that I’ve heard actually recurring in countless instances as people deal with death: A young couple in a church lose their newborn to what is often called “crib death”, yet this one was not due to any of the usual causes. The coroner had no clear specifics thus far. So the distraught couple is grieving and they leave the church service. An elderly lady comes up to them, shares her condolences, and then tries to wax eloquent, but waxes elephants instead, as the saying goes: “I know that this is so hard. But God wanted another little angel for his garden. So that is where she is now.”

    No commentary is needed. There are few limitations to the kinds of human drivel that is pulled out of thin air. It has little to do with religion per se, as equal ignorance is found where tribalism over language, economics system, ethnicity, politics, etc etc. Most people know very little about a whole lot and Kruger-Dunning is always alive and well. Yes, the little angel “folk wisdom” is perhaps an extreme example—yet the mind-numbing claims of the many self-described Christian Bible-readers who should know better yet tell others things like “Omnipotence means God can do anything.” is just as foreign to the Biblical text and just as misleading as the little angel nonsense. And by the way, omnipotent is also another example of a word whose individual morphemes and etymology does NOT fully fit with its theological definition.

  22. As I look through everyone’s reactions to Ken Ham’s little speech, it is clear that we are all overcome by a sense of indescribable awe. I’m still searching for words. It is as if Ken Ham’s grasp of the topics he addresses operates like a black hole, entirely disrupting, overwhelming, and pulling into its unfathomable recesses through an inescapable gravitational force which neutralizes and then utterly destroys any remaining precious functioning neuron within the very victims who are most desperately in need of rational thought—and who can least afford to lose even one of them.

    Yes, whenever I see Ham speaking to an auditorium of adoring fans, all of them hanging on to his every vapid word as if the ultimate authority in science and Bible interpretation, and beholding the doting masses being caught up in perpetual awe of his perpetual……oozing….. superlatively odoriferous KenHamishness, I find myself imagining long lines of chain-ganged neurons, being beaten and whipped by demons to move them ever forward in their many queues, and passing under a large sign painted by Dante: “Abandon hope all ye who enter here.”

    It gives me nightmares.

  23. @Third Prof: “When debate opponents try to apply scientific arguments to particular concepts/claims which are philosophical or theological.”
    In general you’re right, which is confirmed with my own experiences on internet. However this can be used in another way against creationism.
    Science uses two objective methods: deduction and induction. Philosophy and theology only one at best: deduction. Hence if science conflicts with philosophy and theology the first always wins. “But I have faith thanks to the Bible” cries out the creationist. “Yeah, please tell me why I should accept that and reject the stories of the Papuas from New Guinea.” More specific: “OK, you claim that God made the Earth stand still ’cause miracle. Why should I accept that one and reject Mohammed riding the sky on his horse Buraq?”

    “when a creationist makes a specific scientific claim or tries to subvert science for non-scientific purposes.”
    Creationists always do. They need science to give their belief system credibility. And this is one way how to get them – provoke them to make claims that contradict science.

    “an even bigger mistake is to take on the specific Bible interpretations of the Hamites without having the background for it. ”
    That’s why we first must find out what the interpretation of the christian is – and not only the Hamite. For instance your interpretation of Lev. 11:13-19 showed that you think the Bible at least partly is not divinely inspired, when you wrote that the authors hadn’t the opportunity to consult Linnaeus. Because your god, assuming omniscience, totally is supposed to know such things. You said here “the Bible got it wrong because humans are not infallible”.

  24. @Rsg: “But would this argument make sense to a creationist? ”
    In my experience: yes.

    “If God can violate these laws, then they are not laws.”
    The mistake you make here is assuming that the creationist means the same with “scientific law” as you and I do. According to the creationist (and not only him) a scientific law is like a legal law. As his god made them he can suspend them as well. I refer to the Lawmaker Argument.
    So the second trick is to make him admit what he means with law and then show that he rejects science.
    The first one is to make him declare that the Bible is 100% correct on science.
    The third one – if it’s your intention to piss him off, which is the most you can do, because convince him you will not – is showing that the god of the creationist is an immaterial version of Hitler. Divine Command Theory is the metaphysical version of the Führer Principle. As Dutch fundies were very active in anti-nazi resistance between 1940 and 1945 I assume that this is the reason why they largely neglect WL Craig.

  25. Regarding the Sun stopping in the sky. I guess the question I have since timekeeping at the time was based on the sun, how would they know? Perhaps this is more a case of the perception of time, such as an hour sitting next to a pretty girl seems to fly by, where an hour sitting on a hot stove seems like an eternity.

  26. Troy, I have heard an argument that what actually happened was that the Earth’s rotation was continued, it’s just that God created a localized temporal field where time was suspended.

    I mean, sure, why not?

  27. dweller42 says: “… God created a localized temporal field where time was suspended.”

    Too complicated. All God had to do was put a big mirror in a geosynchronous orbit over the battle field, and then adjust its angle as the Earth rotated, so it kept reflecting sunlight where it was needed.

  28. The Ham tells us that without God there would be no logic. Yet, strangely, belief in God is completely illogical. I would like to see Ham make a video in which he solves that riddle – while not breaking any of the rules of logic.

    The only attempt I know of is his article asserting that circular logic is acceptable when it comes to the claim that God exists because the bible says so, and the bible is true because it is God’s word. That is the logic that God gave us.

  29. Ken’s first argument is that 1) there is information in DNA,2) only intelligence can create information, so 3) There is a god. Unfortunately, there is no information in DNA. So… no god.

  30. I have always wondered about the paucity of miracles in modern times particularly as explained by creationists. The rote answer is that we see miracles everyday such as the saving of lives through antibiotics. But that’s kind of lame, I mean some of the bible stuff is really pretty spectacular stuff but lately nothing much is happening.

    Did god just lose interest or maybe we’re just undeserving of a good miracle? Yet, with all of the technology and cameras that abound today there’s a real opportunity for god to get some significant media buzz and perhaps he could start trending again. Maybe god is just getting some really bad marketing advice from the likes of the Hamster.

  31. Usually I ignore this professional child abuser but since you recommended the video I watched it. OK, lots of stupid in there, but what’s really strange is millions of Americans (his customers) completely agree with everything he said. The USA is called Idiot America for a good reason.

  32. You said here “the Bible got it wrong because humans are not infallible”.

    Where did I say that? I don’t recall the context of it. In isolation, I have several problems with that statement.

  33. when you wrote that the authors hadn’t the opportunity to consult Linnaeus. Because your god, assuming omniscience, totally is supposed to know such things

    No. I was ridiculing the anachronism fallacy. You err in assuming that every language must apply Linnaeus to every context in every language. That is beyond bizarre and downright ridiculous. Linnaeus is not the only “right” naming system! There is nothing wrong or deficient about, for example, speaking of “winged creatures”. Linnaeus is a great system of taxonomy. It is NOT the ONLY system a culture can rightly adopt.

    However, I’ve certainly seen the fallacy before. Lots of students come into a linguistics course or anthropology course with such ridiculous presuppositions about what is “correct”. Modern is NOT automatically superior (though it may well be superior for its context and purpose.)

  34. , I mean some of the bible stuff is really pretty spectacular stuff but lately nothing much is happening.

    Miracles are also rare within the Bible’s timeline. “Nothing much is happening” in terms of miracles is the NORM and an ongoing frustration expressed in the Bible. Miracles were ALWAYS rare.

  35. Curmudgeon, you’d just have to make sure you aren’t using Archimedes’ mirror, or your’d incinerate your chosen people. Otherwise, a fine theory.

  36. Don’t forget Pat Robertson’s claim that miracles only happen overseas because in the U.S. we are taught evolution. Well… it’s a good thing all these miracles happen overseas or we’d never get the two miracles to make Mother Teresa a saint.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/02/pat-robertson-miracles-sophisticated-american-evolution_n_2999013.html

  37. Professor Tertius, I have a sincere and direct question for you personally.

    You apparently have a deep faith and belief in God. Why is that? In other words, what is the basis for that belief?

    I feel I can ask this question of you because I know you will give deep thought to your answer, whereas others would just say, “Because the Bible tells me so.”

    (Forgive me, Oh Great Curmudgeon, for I realize I have just opened up the floodgates of your blog, allowing tens of thousands of words to pour in, inundating all the innocent commenters with verbiage unrelated to the subject and purpose of your blog. But hey — that seems to happen often now that our dear Prof. T is a regular here. No offense, Prof. T — I envy your keyboarding speed. But if you can limit your answer to 300 words or less, I’m sure your conciseness will be appreciated.)

  38. Troy wrote:
    Regarding the Sun stopping in the sky. I guess the question I have since timekeeping at the time was based on the sun, how would they know?

    I’m not sure if that is a joke or serious, but if the latter, I think you know the answer to that if you just pause to consider. Yes, we are reliant on devices for time….but if they all left us, you would use your common sense to realize all sorts of means you have to tell that hours have transpired……unless someone were to claim that ALL means of time-telling STOPPED along with the sun!

  39. Ashley Haworth-roberts

    NICE music.

  40. No offense, Prof. T — I envy your keyboarding speed.
    My fingers have held up their speed much better than most of the rest of me, including my brain. [Recall is turning to mush.]

    I’m sure your conciseness will be appreciated.)
    With peers, brevity in religious studies can work well….but I find if I’m dealing with the general public, it doesn’t. I find that I need to state a declaration, reword to reaffirm it another way [so that those not getting the 1st catch on] and then provide several examples…..and summarize it again. (In other words, the way your high school English teacher said that every essay and ever speech was to be outlined. I always thought those claims by English teachers were just OCD and justifying their jobs…until I started teaching. Sometime I’d even assign some text in class, then test the students on it by having the write it up in their own words. The first time I did it, I thought the class was a fluke. But the second group should the very same distribution of comprehension.)

    Eventually I discovered that the more abstract the topic, the worse the problem. As a result, there are a lot of topics which I don’t even TRY to tackle in a concise way.

    Yet, of late I have seriously been considering focusing on “Why I am a theist”, so to speak. One of my hesitations is that I think my reasons would be relatively atypical—and what probably most Americans consider the “obvious” reasons, I find them underwhelming. Moreover, people invariably think that if theism is valid, they should be able to reach the conclusion the same way I did. But it doesn’t work that way for me.

    One thing I do know, in the past when I have answered the question online, I quickly get feedback (even before I”m finished) where the person who asked is trying to puncture each point—even though their counter-argument tells me that they don’t understand what I just wrote.

    I’ll just say that, for me, the “miraculous” played a part—but a lot of people who hear the account (I rather complicated one) and say “That’s not really what I think of when I think of a miracle.”

    So the bottom line is that I’m still wrestling with how I would go about describing it to someone else. Probably one of the very most difficult tasks in all of the human experience is to convey one’s “brain-state” to another. I’m speaking of not just every memory, but every neural connection which causes associations between events/ideas/feelings/etc., even when we often struggle to connect them. I guess I keep bringing up with things Doug Hofstadter deals…..and probably the most mind-blowing of them may not appear in his books. (I’ve not tried to look for it. I’ve yet to read many of them.) After his wife died, he got very interested in the idea of supporting “eternal life” by basically uploading the brain in a computer. He got a lot of flack from peers and there were many that assumed he had gone off the deep end out of grief. But some of our conversations about “brain states” in regards like that were very productive for me. (Of course, keeping up DH is that way for everybody, I think.)

    I usually bring up the ending of the CONTACT movie in answer to questions like yours, and how Carl Sagan got excited about that idea for the Jody Foster character after a Christian friend showed him how his view of reality was small and his sense of what is true and testable and worthy knowing was shallow.

    Those are just a few of the topics I would have to breech if I were to try and answer your question in a way that didn’t leave you with a totally different and wrong idea of what I was saying after I finished.

    And because I’ve had so many readers for my blogs over the years and from forum posts email such questions to me privately, I’m getting more inclined to take it on systematically—-but not before I finish a huge reference book project where my co-authors are waiting for me to catch up.

  41. By the way, definitely within the 300 words I had to: I’d point out that FAITH is central—but the confusion for many would be that I’d explain to them that in the Bible faith is NOT “believing without having any evidence.” If I didn’t have any evidence, I wouldn’t be a theist. And yes: There are LOTS of self-described Christians which give bizarre answer which have little to do with what Jesus or Paul said about faith. Like Ken Ham, most “theologies” which people adopt are based on TRADITION, not TEXT.

  42. @Prof. T: Thanks. Guess I was correct in assuming you would not answer, “Because the Bible says so.”

  43. Also by the way, RetiredGuy, if you want to have a fun mental picture to enjoy in your mind, imagine this: Professor Tertius telling late Henry Morris that, “The Theory of Evolution is among the main reasons why I’m a Christian theist.” (And, no, that was not the reason Henry Morris became the late Henry Morris. But I did most likely help a little bit.)

    Perhaps some reader would benefit from this brief, practical tangent. It explains why I keyboard rapidly and thoroughly through subjects. Reason #1 is that a lot of the ideas which are prompted only by “mixing” with diverse sources and ideas, and everything goes into my “lifetime archives” which I use to search for thoughts later. Reason #2 is actually the more important: I have had recurrent bouts of cancer along with a rare neurological disease that produces extreme pain. Because no type of outside-of-a-hospital solution is strong enough, I have found that the only pain “diversion” method left is something which basically focuses attention in such away that the pain is still present and just as intense—but I can “turn to another channel.” Some specialists did some experiments on me a while back—to see if something could be determined from my experience which could be taught to others—and one of the preliminary results is that by combining very high speed physical coordination tasks [keyboard typing] with high-focus thought involving a lot of abstractions, I can achieve brain states which are usually associated with meditation or types of hypnosis. (Another related brain state *may* be what United Nations translators do: They translate without waiting for anyone to pause, and sort of divide their brains into two segments which each stay within the one language or the other. However, despite the similarities, those people cannot maintain such a state for more than 30 minutes or something like that. I know that is why the UN translators go on/off short shifts constantly.)

    Bottom line: Certain type of extreme pain diseases/disorders have enormously high suicide rates. And pain treatment is basically the most primitive and has the poorest record for progress and new discoveries. There are few medication options and the time of effectiveness (in years) is modest. So I was fortunate to find “brain exercises” which allow me to cope with extreme pain for long periods by combining both physical and mental distractions. (Related to this is my exercise now and then of writing satire, whether with puns, plays-on-word, or very inside-humor related to a particular academic field. ALL of my blog satire comes from those pain coping sessions. I used to use piano composition and sometimes electronic orchestration similarly but that fell to the side when I moved and had to pack my concert grand piano away in a U-Store-It place.)

    So, I give you that pain-treatment advice in hopes you never have to try it—and in hopes that you don’t make my mistake and decided to get old. (I always thought I would make it my goal to live forever or die tryin’.)

    There, that’s a post of perhaps a half dozen topics.