Ken Ham: Time Travel and Genesis

There was a time when your Curmudgeon eagerly devoured all the science fiction stories he could find involving time travel (there must be thousands of them by now), and we were familiar with the obvious paradoxes, the non-obvious ones, and the plot flaws with which so many stories had to deal — often unsuccessfully.

The usual paradox-avoidance technique was the assumption that there was only one time machine in existence, and one time traveler. The old H.G. Wells story, The Time Machine, is typical. But of course there would inevitably be more than one — many more — which means that lots of events in the past would be altered and reality would become chaotic. That problem was often overcome by assuming some kind of Time Patrol to keep things tidy. Nevertheless, paradoxes inevitably abounded. The most commonly used technique for dealing with that was to just to keep the action moving, ignoring the paradoxes.

Because of our familiarity with time travel, we were delighted to see the subject being discussed 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.

A holy, all-knowing man like Hambo is naturally able to discuss the subject with perfect comprehension. He just posted this at his blog: Lessons from Back to the Future. You’ve probably seen the movie, Back to the Future, and at least one of its many sequels. Ol’ Hambo is way ahead of you — as always. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

Today, October 21, 2015, is the day that Marty McFly, the hero of the 1989 movie Back to the Future Part II, arrives on when he travels to future. Although we don’t yet have flying and time-traveling DeLoreans, or self-adjusting and drying clothes; and although our hoverboards today can barely get off the ground, we do have a great time-traveling adventure in store for you.

Ooooooooooooooh — Hambo has a “great time-traveling adventure” for us! We can’t wait to read about it. He says:

In our online store we have a movie that features time travel but teaches an important lesson. This film, called Time Changer, is set in 1890 and features a Bible professor looking to receive unanimous endorsement from the board for a new book he wrote. But one board member won’t endorse it because he believes the views in the book are dangerous for future generations. He then sends Carlisle into the 21st century to see where his ideas will lead. This movie is described as a humorous conversation starter on biblical authority and why it is so important that we stand on the authority of God’s Word without compromise.

Despite our interest in time travel stories, we’ll probably skip that one. But let’s read on to see what Hambo says about it:

Now, many secularists will argue against biblical creation by saying that we have a “time travel” problem. The supposed problem goes like this: there are some galaxies that are so far away it would take light from their stars billions of years to reach Earth. Now, since we can see them, their light has already arrived here, and so the Earth can’t be only thousands of years old, it must be billions.

We’re all familiar with that, and we’ve written a number of times about it — see, e.g.: How Old Is The Creationists’ Universe?, and also Jason Lisle’s “Instant Starlight” Paper. Hambo continues:

But, actually, this is a poor argument for those who hold to the big bang to use because it’s self-refuting — they have a similar problem!

Wow — suddenly this is interesting! What have we been missing? Here’s more:

You see, according to the big bang model, at the beginning the universe would develop different temperatures in different places in the universe. But everywhere we measure, the universe has the same temperature — even in the most distant galaxies. In order for all of the different places of the universe to reach a uniform temperature, light had to be exchanged from one place to another. But, even in the supposed 14 billion years that those who hold to the big bang believe in, there hasn’t been enough time for light to travel from one side of the universe to the other. So for those who hold to the big bang to argue that biblical creation is wrong because of this “time travel” problem are really “shooting themselves in the foot” because the argument is self-refuting!

[*Groan*] Hambo’s talking about the Horizon problem, which is addressed by the theory of cosmological inflation. Nothing new here. Besides, your Curmudgeon never thought the uniform temperature of the cosmic background radiation was a problem. If the universe all started at a point, it would have then expanded and cooled uniformly in accordance with the laws of physics, without the necessity of every distant part being instantly in contact with every other part. The same would be true if you poured two cups of coffee at the same time from the same pot — the cups, although isolated from each other, would cool uniformly.

Aside from the fact that ol’ Hambo’s complaining about a problem that has already been addressed, his raising the problem is most curious. For Hambo to claim that the horizon problem is an objection to the Big Bang, he has to assume that the speed of light is constant. Otherwise, his objection is meaningless. We understand what he’s clumsily trying to do — he wants to show that a constant speed of light involves a scientific contradiction — which it doesn’t. And it doesn’t change the fact that the speed of light clearly contradicts the universe described in Genesis.

What else does Hambo’s post have for us? Nothing. At the end he says:

Although we can’t time travel like Marty McFly, we do know Someone who created everything and is outside of time and even created time, as stated in Genesis 1:1. Since we have the testimony of the Creator God of the universe, which is the written account of the history of the world, we can be confident that the things it says are true.

So there you are, dear reader — ol’ Hambo’s adventure in time travel. Wasn’t it fun?

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

add to del.icio.usAdd to Blinkslistadd to furlDigg itadd to ma.gnoliaStumble It!add to simpyseed the vineTailRankpost to facebook

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article

16 responses to “Ken Ham: Time Travel and Genesis

  1. When you promote a narrative in which the universe was created by magic, you run into such problems. Yes, a magical creator could have created the stars with their starlight already en route 6000 years ago. But, then, could not this creator also have created the universe five minutes ago along with all of us and false memories that we have been alive for years. Of course, He could. This then is the problem: no such creation story can be tested and as such has no basis in Nature, aka God’s Creation. And why would God’s Creation have embedded in it false leads as to where and when we came from? And why do Mr. Ham and his cronies have such a problem with science when science is, at its base, a humble search through God’s Creation for the truth of that creation?

    That is the bigger question.

  2. You’ve probably seen the movie, Back to the Future, and at least one of its many sequels.

    Ahem, there were just two sequels.

  3. I am likely the only person on this list who has seen the Time Changer movie. The lead character, Carlisle, is played by D. David Morin who we knew when we lived in Malibu. The producer, Rich Christiano [wonder if he picked that name], had a Q & A about the movie at Pepperdine, and I think that Gavin MacLeod who plays the balking board member also attended. Hambo seems to be a bit behind on this one since the movie came out in 2002.

  4. I’m a bit disappointed. The combination of time travel – and of course Ol’ Hambo’s god is the ultimate time traveller – and the Bible opens so many thrilling perspectives. Begin at Genesis 1 and that god himself takes you by your hand and brings you back in time some 6000 years!

  5. Most interesting about Back to the Future is that it predicts the outcome of the World Series of U.S. Major League professional baseball. It says that the winner is the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs, for those not familiar with baseball, are famous for not having won the World Series since 1908, and not having participated since 1945.
    Yet the preliminaries, the playoffs are now in progress, with the Cubs being one of only 4 teams left in contention.
    Alas, as of this moment, the Cubs are behind 0 games to 3 in a best-of-7 series. If they do not win tonight (and all the remaining 4 games), they will, once again, not be in the World Series.
    And, for Back to the Future believers, the movie predicts that the opponent will be the Miami team. But that is not to be, for Miami was eliminated from contention early (and, anyway, for technical reasons, which could not be known at the time of the movies, it is impossible for the World Series to occur between Cubs and Miami without restructuring of the leagues – which does happen, but not this year).

  6. No need to pay Ham for it, it’s on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21bLarZJB1k

  7. In our online store we have a movie that features time travel but teaches an important lesson. This film, called Time Changer, is set in 1890 and features a Bible professor looking to receive unanimous endorsement from the board for a new book he wrote. But one board member won’t endorse it because he believes the views in the book are dangerous for future generations. He then sends Carlisle into the 21st century to see where his ideas will lead. This movie is described as a humorous conversation starter on biblical authority and why it is so important that we stand on the authority of God’s Word without compromise.

    I’ve actually seen that movie, and a more godawful clunker you will never find. It lays the propaganda on with a trowel while skimping on plot, characterization, and cinematography.

  8. Derek Freyberg

    Perhaps time travel will enable current-day Earth to send Hambo back to medieval Earth, where his brand of theo-idiocy would be welcome, or at least not scoffed at quite as much.

  9. Perhaps time travel will enable current-day Earth to send Hambo back to medieval Earth, where his brand of theo-idiocy would be welcome, or at least not scoffed at quite as much.

    I assume you mean Medieval Europe (Xtianity probably would not go down so well in, say, Medieval China). Even in Medieval Europe I reckon Hambo would be a prime candidate for the stake: the, er, unchanging message of the Bible has changed quite a bit since then and, however atavistic Hambo’s ideas might seem to us, he’d probably be condemned as a heretic.

  10. Derek and realthog,

    Your comments sparked an interesting thought experiment:

    Say we were to transport one of our modern Creationists–like Jason Lisle–back in time to a pre-Copernican Europe and equip him with the tools he would need to gather the evidence (e.g. a telescope) and present it. I see this as having 3 possible outcomes. Would he:

    1) Proclaim to the world the scientific evidence that would cast doubt on a literally true Bible?

    2) Sit back in such strong literal-Bible belief environment content and happy?

    3) Revert to geocentrism (or sigh with relief that he no longer had to pretend acceptance of heliocentrism)?

    4) Something else.

    I would probably go with (2) myself.

  11. TomS:
    “Alas, as of this moment, the Cubs are behind 0 games to 3 in a best-of-7 series. If they do not win tonight (and all the remaining 4 games), they will, once again, not be in the World Series.”

    Unfortunately, I must be the bearer of bad news for fellow Cubs fans. They just lost; swept by the Mets. Oh, well. Wait ’til next year. (The Cubs most famous saying.)

  12. Ham:
    “Since we have the testimony of the Creator God of the universe…”

    [citation needed]

  13. Oh, for the love o’ Pete! Did it again. Curmy, please turn off the italics after “universe…” Thanks!

    [*Voice from above*] Pete sends his regards.

  14. Charles Deetz ;)

    I can only hope that a few of Hambo’s readers see this clear description of the starlight problem and start doubting.

  15. I actually saw “Time Changer” on a religious channel once. In short, the plot is that a guy from the 1890s is sent forward in time to the early 2000s and is of course totally shocked by how evil and godless society has become.

    At one point he lectures some schoolchildren about how the Bible is 100 % accurate in everything it says, only to be rebuked by the teacher who says he can’t say such things in public school. Later we see him run out of a cinema, absolutely shocked because some guy in the movie took the Lord’s name in vain! Oh, the horror!

    Rich Christiano’s movie is one long varation on the theme of “everything used to be better in the Good Old Days when our religion totally dominated society”!

    Finally our bold time traveler returns to the 1890s. In the final scenes, his friend who invented the time machine tries to pin down when Judgement Day will come by trying to aim the machine at various future dates. It proves impossible to send anything to 2070, for instance, so we can be sure Jesus will bring this world to an end within the next few decades.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_Changer

  16. Amazing! At least 3 of us on this list actually saw the movie, and I believe that we speak with near unanimity regarding its merits – none come to mind.