It’s amusing to learn what bothers the creation scientists at Answers in Genesis (AIG) — the creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo). They just posted Top 15 Illustration Problems in Genesis 1–11.
It was 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 and some of the scripture references omitted:
From time to time people write books or articles with illustrations on the early pages of Genesis. Oftentimes, I see illustrated Bibles, particularly children’s Bibles or books on Genesis, that make the same classic mistakes. In fact, I’ve seen so many of these books that I decided to list the classic mistakes in the illustrations (and a few extra ones dealing with the text) in hopes that artists and authors can use this in the future to make their books more accurate and effective.
We want people to realize the Bible is true right from the start, so it is good to avoid common mistakes and correct some of the artwork depicting the events of Genesis 1–11 — the foundational chapters of Scripture. Here are some of the common problems I have found in the first eleven chapters of Genesis:
Isn’t this wonderful? Bodie is going to give us a list of “classic mistakes” made by illustrators of bible stories. This should be very educational. Although Bodie’s title says “Top 15 Illustration Problems,” his article actually lists 19 items — and they’re not all illustration problems. No problem. We weren’t going to list all of them anyway — just a few to let you know how shockingly bad some of your favorite books may be. Let’s get started. Oh, the bold titles for each item are in the original post:
1. The globe looks like it does today: This would specifically be before the Flood in Genesis 6–8. The Earth was destroyed and rearrangements on a continental scale resulted from the Flood. In light of Genesis 1:9, many believe there was only one continent originally. Though we should not be dogmatic on this position, we know the Flood caused vast changes, leaving us with the seven broken continents we have today.
We’re puzzled by that one. The bible doesn’t mention continents — either before or after the Flood. But it’s very clear and consistent that The Earth Is Flat! For some reason, Bodie overlooks that vital point. Anyway, let’s read on:
2. Leaving open evolutionary ideas: There is no need to impose evolutionary ideas on the Bible. These ideas come from the religion of humanism, and it contradicts the Bible. Sadly, some artists do mix humanistic thinking [like astronomical evolution (big bang as in progressive creation), geological evolution (millions of years as in the gap theory or progressive creation), chemical evolution (chemical origin of life without God) or biological evolution (like theistic evolution)]. … There is no need to take secular ideas and force them into the Bible. This removes the Bible as the authority when it comes to the age of the Earth. One common example is showing stars in the background in pictures showing the creation of Earth — the sun, moon, and stars were created on Day Four, after the Earth.
Bodie is right! Astronomical evolution shouldn’t be tolerated. His list continues:
3. Not including extinct creatures like dinosaurs on Day Six: Dinosaurs were land animals after all, so they were made on Day Six just before mankind. The same is true with land-based insects. Also, there should be pterosaurs, bats, and flying insects with all of the birds and sea creatures like the plesiosaurs on Day Five with the fish and whales.
He’s right again. According to the bible, it was just like the Flintstones. Here’s more:
5. Drawing Adam and Eve with very light skin and blond hair and blue eyes: Adam and Eve were likely middle brown, having the information for both darker skin (which is largely based on more melanin production in skin) and lighter skin (likewise, less melanin production in the skin). Thus even in one generation they could have had children that were darker or lighter in skin shade. The same sort of thing is likely true with Noah.
Well, yeah, but we like pictures of a scantily-clad blonde Eve. Moving along:
7. Having a serpent without some form of upright posture or appendages during the deception: Genesis 3:1 calls it a serpent. Part of the Curse was that the serpent was to crawl on its belly. This may indicate that the Curse produced a snake or a serpent with shortened legs. So it is better to have a serpent more upright prior to the Curse and lower (i.e., crawling on its belly) after the Curse.
Yes, the Curse is so important! Another excerpt:
16. Not using biblical dates: Why use secular timeframes instead of biblical timeframes when publishing a Bible? For example, don’t use BCE and CE; use BC and AD to honor Jesus as the focal point of history. Also, use biblical dates from a respected chronology like Ussher or Jones, not questionable dates that come from faulty assumptions like secular mythology or radiometric dates that are repeatedly in error. Stick to the biblical age of the Earth and dates given in the Bible.
Now we’ll jump ahead to the last item:
19. Placing the Garden of Eden based on post-Flood geography: Many try to put the Garden of Eden in the Middle East, in Iraq. However, the Flood destroyed the Garden of Eden, and the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers were later merely named for these pre-Flood rivers. The geography doesn’t match — direction of flow, and so on. There was one river in Eden that broke into four headwaters, so these modern rivers cannot be the rivers mentioned in Genesis 2.
You will undoubtedly want to click over there to study the entire list. This is how Bodie’s article ends:
Hopefully, these will help get you started as you evaluate teaching materials or seek to develop your own. But keep in mind there may be other mistakes, and all these must be checked against the text of Scripture — the authority when it comes to these matters.
In this world of confusing and blasphemous scientific teachings, it’s comforting to have a reliable source of information like AIG.
Copyright © 2015. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.
Its terrible when one of these make sense! IF you start with the book o’BS is the only complete truth and all must agree with it, then he has a point. Unfortunately when one starts with BS it can only be piled higher!
Excellent example of the Salem Hypothesis.
You’d be hard pressed to find a bunny dumber than this guy.
I go to the AiG website for my daily dose of stupid, and when I’m busy numbing my brain cells there, I often muse about whether or not the particular idiocy I’m reading at the moment would trigger the Cumudgeon’s brain cells to explode or rouse themselves to respond. I was delighted this time to learn that my favorite sidekick of all time — Bodie Baby Hodge — had tickled the Curmudgeon as he had my lowly self! As a good sidekick and slithering sycophant, Bodie Baby shows us how to sublimate ourselves into the fantasy world of his master and his holy book of multiple answers, while deftly dodging any logic or whiff of reality that may block our path to righteous thought.
Once again, our Curmudgeon is to be thanked for his ongoing willingness to share this stuff with us!
No wonder he is not a practicing engineer if he thinks 15 = 19.
Most lizards have sprawling gaits and rest on their bellies – if one were to actually observe nature instead of learning about it from the back of cereal boxes….
And did anyone else notice the “Ken Ham Rhyming Books” for sale at the bottom of the page: “D is for Dumb”, N is for Nonsense”, “A is for Asininity”?
“…use BC and AD to honor Jesus as the focal point of history.” I’ve always thought the Napoleonic wars were the focal point of history. At least there’s pretty good evidence they actually happened, unlike the things that seem to occupy the few neurons in the cerebral hemispheres of ID writers. And waldteufel, perhaps you should limit exposure to the AIG web site — it clearly has the potential to rot brains. I’m not sure how AIG gets Naegleria fowleri to leap into people’s brains, however.
This shows that there are two classes of things which people depict which are not in the Bible, those which YECs insist are essential to Christianity, and those which should be shunned.
Nothing inbetween. Things which the artist has to make a choice, but are immaterial. An artist has to draw a fruit, but cannot draw a generic fruit, so draws an apple.
On the other hand, there is a long tradition of religious art depicting the “good guys” of the Bible as looking like northwest Europeans, and, even worse, the “bad guys” as looking like stereotypes of other ethnic groups. I think, I hope, that there is less of that going on today.
On the other hand, words fail me when it comes to the inanity of trying to picture the made-up stuff of 21st century YEC – animals of a “kind” (rather than any species or breed) – imaginary geography. I have to admit, though, that they are going back to the Bible if they imagine an Earth existing apart from the rest of the universe, but why not insist on depicting the firmament?
Bodie gives us in #12:
12. Putting too many individuals of a kind on the Ark:
We often see lions and tigers and other cats entering or exiting Noah’s Ark. There is only one cat kind (cats can interbreed with each other), so Noah only took two cats on the Ark. Of course, they had the genetic information which can account for the cat variations we see today (as a result of various selection processes over time). The same with dogs—there is only one dog kind, so Noah only needed two dogs on the Ark, no dingoes, wolves, coyotes, and so on. The same goes for the bear kind, ceratopsian kind, sauropod kind, elephant kind, horse kind (zebras are part of the horse kind—they are a variation of the horse that is post-Flood), and so on.
Ah yes. The creationist super-evolution. As you can see, creationists accept evolution. But, like the rest of their beliefs, it is full of magic and devoid of any constraint from reality.
It is strange though. You never see them argue this for hominids. It would follow, however, given Bodie’s aforementioned reasoning. In the interest of Ark space, because Noah and family were the hominids on board the ark, they would therefore be the ones left with the task of giving repopulating orangutans and chimps and gorillas and bonobos. I wonder if Bodie’s next article will explain the exact who, when, and how this happened?
AD and BC? Last I remember Jesus was a Jew and would have used a different calendar altogether. Anno Mundi 5776 began at sunset on 13 September 2015 and will end at sunset on 2 October 2016.
Let me add one error I’ve noticed. If you have two lions entering the ark, they shouldn’t both have manes. I’d bet some lions want to join a gay pride, but not on the ark, jeez!
I suppose that since the artists didn’t get to Exodus they haven’t hobbled upon the prohibition against depictions of anything in “heaven and earth”.
Bodie offers a critique of how people and things are depicted but offers ZERO proof they are as he asserts they are. Adam and Eve could have been white, but more likely since they are fictional characters they have no racial characteristics at all and should naturally have full artistic license. The artists will likely paint what they know, and if they are white they might well use Mom and Dad as their muse. Consider that the Statue of Liberty was modeled after the artist’s mother and it makes me think it is much more common than you think.
As for CE and BCE rather than B.C. and A.D. If one is doing research on a historical Jesus imagine the confusion that would ensue considering that Ussher is known to be wrong by 4 to 7 years for example Jesus was born 4 years before Christ.
Typical creation “research”.
“Jesus was born 4 years before Christ.”
If you believe Matthew, but if you believe Luke, 5 or so years after.
I wonder what the ur-cat was like? The Bible just raises more questions than it answers – wholly unsatisfactory as a source of knowledge. What did pre-fall cats look like, post-fall?, pre-flood?, voyagers on the Ark?, post-flood diversification? AiG knows because humans were there, right? Why are they saying?
Bodie reminds us that the sun, moon, and stars were created on Day Four, after the Earth. So how could there be any illustrations of anything from the first three days. The world (flat, of course) was in total darkness.
Excuse the pedantry, but Ussher knew the problem of which you speak. That’s why he put the year of creation at 4004 BC – exactly 4000 years before the birth of Christ. The mistake was done by Dionysius Exiguus who calculated the birth of Christ at 1 BC.
Light was created on day 1. The old problem (observed in antiquity) was how there were days and nights when there was no Sun (nor Moon nor stars) to mark the passage of time and separate day from light (as the Bible tells us of their function). Cleverer conservative Bible-readers for a couple of thousand years have told us that the Bible does not say that the Sun was created on day 4, put that it was put in the firmament, which they say means that it was hidden from view before day 4.
Yes, once again, our friends the YECs prove to be ignorant of the Bible from the conservative point of view.
I’ve always been amused by the art in the Jehova Witness Watchtower and Awake publications. We have Jesus as a slightly tan white guy with neatly trimmed beard and hair. We have the resurrected people dwelling in paradise wearing button-down shirts and other clearly factory-made textiles, petting lions in a tame jungle.
Bodie’s list is rather petty. From what I’ve seen, facts, science and reality are what truly annoy creationists.
@PaulS – it is like closing the barn door after the cows have gotten out.
There is nothing in the Bible about A&E’s skin color, hair color, height, age etc., fruit characteristics of the “tree of knowledge”, let alone other plants in the GOE, numbers and diversity of organisms produced on days 5 and 6, patterns of constellations on day 4 – every damn bit of it is artistic license – how could it be wrong?
Tom S says: “Cleverer conservative Bible-readers for a couple of thousand years have told us that the Bible does not say that the Sun was created on day 4, put that it was put in the firmament, which they say means that it was hidden from view before day 4.”
Wow! But there wasn’t any place to hide the sun. Oh, wait — it was probably underneath the flat Earth.
I think that one thing that really, truly, deeply annoys the creationists is the Bible. Anyone who has read a bit of the Bible has come across a really puzzling passage.
Can you imagine someone reading through Leviticus through those long descriptions of the decorations of Solomon’s Temple and think that it has any relevance to them. And, because everything in the Bible is of vital importance to salvation, that one has to pay attention – let’s see, is that lavender pomegranates embroided on the cloth, or purple ones on the tassels – this will be on the final exam.
And then there are the toughies –
And God hadn’t created Apollo’s chariot to move it out of the sea and across the sky – they left that out of day 4…
or maybe God had it in his hand, his pocket?
Nothing like being a leading authority on sheer nonsense. I think I could hear several hundred of my neurons exploding in disgust.
The standard explanation was that the skies were cloudy, something blocking the direct sight of the Sun. And if you’re going to ask, “who was there to see the Sun?” of course, this was before there were any creatures with eyes. It was a hypothetical, it was if there had been anyone to see the Sun, they would not be able to see it.
I’m just reporting what they say.
It may be that AiG has a better story.
Just remember, it’s on the final exam. Because it’s in the Bible, it’s more important than doing good deeds.
I don’t remember what day clouds were created….
Are they winged things?
AD and BC? Last I remember Jesus was a Jew and would have used a different calendar altogether.
I’ve never known any Christian to claim that Jesus used a chronology based on Dionysius Exiguus’ dating of Easter in the year 525 C.E. Young Earth Creationist like Bodie have lots of problems with chronology and history but I doubt that they would insist on that particular type of anachronism.
Can you imagine someone reading through Leviticus through those long descriptions of the decorations of Solomon’s Temple and think that it has any relevance to them.
Speaking of anachronisms, I don’t think many would confuse Solomon’s Temple from centuries after with the Tabernacle as described in Leviticus. (Yes, the Temple, a permanent, fixed structure, had connections to the Tabernacle, a portable and very different structure from centuries before, but I’m confused by your observation.
And, because everything in the Bible is of vital importance to salvation, that one has to pay attention…
While all fundamentalist Christians agree that all of the scriptures are important and inerrant, I have never heard even one say that “everything in the Bible is of vital importance to salvation.”
On the other hand, there is a long tradition of religious art depicting the “good guys” of the Bible as looking like northwest Europeans, and, even worse, the “bad guys” as looking like stereotypes of other ethnic groups. I think, I hope, that there is less of that going on today.
And the depiction of “white guys” is all the more interesting when one notes that HA’ADAM (“the human one”) strongly suggests—and some even would say “implies”—that HA’ADAM was “the red-soil human one”. Indeed, every one of my Hebrew professors who were Jewish rabbis tended to translate HA’ADAM with “red-soil” somewhere in it because of etymological factors plus the huge significance of the play on words. That is, in Hebrew it is impossible to miss the play on words. The text says, “And God formed HA’ADAM from the dust of the HA’ADAMAH.”
Thus, Adam was “the red-dirt guy from the red-dirt.”
He is HA’ADAM from the HA’ADAMAH.
Today’s Fundamentalist professors of Old Testament at the best schools tend to be far better trained—many with Ph.D’s in Semitic Languages & Cultures or Ancient Near Eastern Languages & Cultures— and many even have relatively strong Biblical Linguistics backgrounds (at least compared to two generations ago.) So I’d be surprised if the Hebrew faculty at most Young Earth Creationist schools aren’t well aware of the redness factor.
….but why not insist on depicting the firmament?
Yes! My question exactly! I find it fascinating how the modern English translations and study Bibles tip-toe around the firmament.
I read on a creationist site (and I wish I could remember where) that Adam must have been a medium brown because he was made out of dirt.
There is nothing in the Bible about A&E’s skin color…
As I said, I know lots of Jewish rabbis who would disagree with you. But you are correct in the sense that their skin color was not explicitly and clearly described. Even so, many rabbis would say that in its original languages and cultural framework the text tells them that the first two “human ones” had skin similar in color to the soil of that area of the world.
“We want people to realize the Bible is true right from the start, so it is good to avoid common mistakes and correct some of the artwork depicting the events of Genesis 1–11 …”
Darn! Clicked on the “Post Comment” button prematurely.
What I was about to say was that it’s strange that AiG considers all translations of the Bible to be inerrant, as God inspired the translators just as He inspired the original transcribers.
Now, I would consider an illustration the same as a translation, albeit a nonverbal one. Evidently, Hodge does not agree, and feels that he must correct the illustrated Bible. He must think that he has been more highly inspired by God than the illustrator
What amazes me most about mechanical engineer Bodie is that he appears to be oblivious to what Young Earth Creationist fundamentalist seminary professors have to say about the topics he broaches. For example, he casually places flying insects on day 5 and other insects on day 6. I’m somewhat familiar with the scholarship on that debate and the issues are complex. I admit that I’ve not re-visited the issue in many years but I find it difficult to believe that a mechanical engineer whose Hebrew skills are as non-existent as his scientific acumen is in a qualified position to even grasp the technical issues, let alone resolve the lexicographic factors and state so confidently the author(s’) original meaning.
One cannot automatically assume that “it flies and it is a creature so that must mean day 5.” I’ve not studied the lexicography in many years but I find it doubtful that a word which primarily applies to NEPHESH-type flying animals (like birds and bats) would also include flying insects in the same category. However, I recall some rabbis linking the word behind “flying creatures” to pollinators and so thereby include flying insects on Day #5.
Yet, almost every scholar who deals with this technical issue ignores the complications of our not knowing the century from which the original text was first recorded. Too many scholars take for granted that Hebrew words had fixed meanings and didn’t change over the many hundreds of years spanning Old Testament history. (Obviously, language vocabulary is not an unchanging monolith.) Furthermore, I think it likely that Genesis 1 circulated as an oral tradition for many centuries and that we have no reason to assume that it didn’t work its way through multiple languages and cultures on its way to eventually being written down in a very old dialect of Hebrew. We have no reason to assume that the Hebrew word for “flying creatures” had exactly the same semantic domain as the source language’s word of previous oral traditions from which it was translated.
As a result, I’m not positive that we will ever know for certain exactly what species (or kinds) were included in the category labeled with a word which we usually translate as “flying creatures.”
If a great many Hebrew scholars have limited training in Biblical linguistics where these issues are discussed, you can bet that mechanical engineer Bodie Hodge knows even less about the very technical issues involved.
Of course, on other hand, Bodie is Ken Ham’s son-in-law and that probably comes with the divine right of kings. So who am I to question his authority?
Retiresciguy wrote: What I was about to say was that it’s strange that AiG considers all translations of the Bible to be inerrant, as God inspired the translators just as He inspired the original transcribers.
I had wondered if AIG holds to the usual fundamentalist doctrine of inerrancy which typically clarifies that full inerrancy is only guaranteed to exist in the original autographs (which no longer exist.) The only fundamentalists I’ve known who extend complete inerrancy to any English Bible translation are the KJV-only people. So I checked the AIG Statement of Faith. It states its position in inerrancy in a somewhat different way, but it does appeal to the original autographs—so I assume that they are going with the majority viewpoint among fundamentalists in saying something like this: “Complete 100.00% inerrancy only applies to the original autographs, but our English Bibles (especially when we take into account translation notes and scholarly exposition on meanings and some of the very difficult translation issues) are so close to that complete inerrancy standard as to allow us to apply the Doctrine of Inerrancy to our English Bible translations today.”
Thus, in actual daily use of the term “inerrant”, most fundamentalists would say that the best translations are sufficiently consistent with the original autographs to allow a general application of the inerrancy doctrine to their English Bibles. Only on the most extreme details would they weigh their words more carefully and say “Yes, this word/phrase/idea could have been expressed in a better way but this is reasonably close to the inerrancy of the original autograph.”
Only a minority of fundamentalists claim that only the KJV Bible is an inerrant Bible translation. Yet there are many other fundamentalists who express fear about many of the “liberal” English Bible translations and if you queried them, they might say that the NASB and NKJV (as well as the original KJV) are inerrant but not the NIV and NRSV.
My guess is that if someone asked Ken Ham which English Bible translations are inerrant, he would play it like a good politician. He knows the issue can be very divisive even among fundamentalists, so even if he is suspicious of the NIV, he will probably avoid getting too specific for fear of offending a wide spectrum of donors, many of whom love the NIV Study Bible and commentary series.
Now, I would consider an illustration the same as a translation, albeit a nonverbal one.
I think you would have a hard time finding many fundamentalists who would agree with that. Most fundamentalists would say “It’s called the Word of God, not the picture-book of God. So illustrations are more like a commentary on the Bible: just a study help.” (Occasionally I will remind them that the Bible itself does NOT necessarily use “the Word of God” as an exact synonym of the scriptures. For example, the Bible sometimes makes reference to things God has said which are not recorded in the Bible. So those words of God are not in the scriptures.)
One of my references to “autograph” got misspelled as “authograph.”
I have been experimenting with the trial version of Grammarly—and it kept getting mixed up with my Windows clipboard extender software. So there may be redundancies and typos which I corrected but got reverted back.
[*Voice from above*] All is well.
B&S Forum: Prof. T:
“So there may be redundancies and typos which I corrected but got reverted back.”
I feel for you, Bro. Don’t you just hate when that happens?
Anyway, I thought I’d get a rise out of you with my comments regarding illustrations. Seriously, if fundamentalists claim inerrancy for scripture, it must then extend to all scripture, whether in word or picture. After all, isn’t a picture worth a thousand words? So shouldn’t inerrancy be a thousand times more important for illustrations than for words?
Hey — just sayin’. After all, how else would all the artists know what Jesus looked like? Since all their depictions are so remarkably similar, they just had to be divinely inspired, no? That, and then there’s Sunday Pix. I would imagine it had to be divinely inspired as well, because God wouldn’t want all those children reading it to get the wrong idea.
@michaelfugate I’ve wondered the same thing myself about the ur-cat.
That question brings me to a new line of thinking: maybe since these ur-cats had the domesticated genes in them that is why they didn’t attack Noah or the other animals. Same with the ur-wolf–Yahweh must have cast a magic spell on the ur-kinds to express their domesticated “kind” traits. This implies that every ur-kind has a domesticated strain.
Which brings me to my paramount question: Who had the pet theropods and where can I get one?
I apologize for being rather careless in some of my remarks, and thank you for pointing that out.
On something else:
I’d just like to point out that there need not be such a thing as an original autograph. We realize that even 20th century works for which there is abundant documentary evidence that it is questionable whether there is anything which can be called an original autograph.
If I have any quarrel with this article, it’s in the title: there are no such things as “creation scientists.” There are people with academic degrees in the sciences who peddle creationism, but the proper word for them is “whores.”
I can’t believe you left off #11: Not including dinosaurs and pterodactyls (e.g., dragons) on the Ark.
Bodie’s right. It’s a sin to ever forget the dragon kind.