We recently wrote NASA Has More Bad News for Creationists, in which we said:
The universe described in the bible is a cozy arrangement, with the Earth created as the only world in existence, in the center of what seemed to be a rather limited universe, consisting of the Sun and the Moon, with the stars as lights set in a presumably solid firmament rotating around us, just below the glorious realm of Yahweh.
The people who wrote the bible weren’t idiots, but they were limited to naked eye observations, so they believed The Earth Does Not Move. And being limited in geographic knowledge by their primitive transportation methods, it’s understandable that they thought The Earth Is Flat. Those beliefs found their way into several scripture passages, which we cited in those two links. Despite the bible’s clarity on those issues, young Earth creationists have abandoned the idea of a flat Earth, and most seem to have accepted the idea that the Earth moves as part of the solar system — but they still insist on the truth of everything else in Genesis.
Then we mentioned this item at the NASA website: Hubble Reveals Observable Universe Contains 10 Times More Galaxies Than Previously Thought, and commented:
The simple, Earth-centered universe of the creationists is becoming ridiculously huge, and … creationism is becoming increasingly absurd. Now, let’s see if any of the usual creationist websites bother to mention these new discoveries.
As expected, we have a creationist response at the website of the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), founded by televangelist Pat Robertson. Their headline is: New Universe Research Confirms Biblical Teaching on Astronomy. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
The universe is much bigger than scientists originally thought. It’s a new discovery by man that has always been a part of what the Bible says.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! They describe the new discovery and say:
The Bible actually backs up this new research. Apologetics ministry Answers in Genesis recently published an article adapted from Dr. Jason Lisle’s book, Taking Back Astronomy.
Jason Lisle? BWAHAHAHAHAHA! He’s the creationist astrophysicist who used to be employed by Answers in Genesis (AIG), ol’ Hambo’s online ministry. For reasons which have never been explained, Jason left AIG a couple of years ago to become director of whatever it is that they call research at the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) — the fountainhead of young-earth creationist wisdom.
This is Jason’s “recently published” article at the AIG website: Taking Back Astronomy, dated 01 June 2006 — more than ten years ago, well before we began this humble blog. It’s fantastic, and CBN’s article merely quotes from it, so we’ll give you some excerpts from Jason’s “recent” article, which CBN thinks is a sufficient response to the NASA news. Jason wrote, with some bold font added by us:
It is not commonly known that many of the Bible’s statements about astronomy went against the generally accepted teachings of the time. Undoubtedly, many of these verses would have seemed counterintuitive, and may have been difficult to believe when they were first written. Modern science, however, has confirmed what the Bible has taught. As in all things, the Bible is absolutely correct when it teaches about the universe.
Then he tells us a few things that the bible teaches, or so he claims:
The earth is round: Consider Isaiah 40:22 which mentions the “circle of the earth.” This description is certainly fitting — particularly when the earth is viewed from space; the earth always appears as a circle, since it is round.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! We debunked that in The Earth Is Flat, where we said:
That passage is often misunderstood. The phrase “circle of the earth” actually refers to a disk. There is a Hebrew word for “ball” which was used elsewhere in Isaiah, so although the author had both words at his disposal, he didn’t use “ball” in his “circle of the earth” passage.
Jason’s “recent” article continues:
The earth floats in space: A very interesting verse to consider is Job 26:7 which states that God “hangs the earth on nothing.” This verse expresses (in a poetic way) the fact that the earth is unsupported by any other object — something quite unnatural for ancient writers to imagine. Indeed, the earth does float in space. We now have pictures of the earth taken from space that show it floating in the cosmic void.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! We mentioned that “hangs the earth on nothing” verse in The Earth Does Not Move, and commented:
What’s that all about? It’s the same earth that the same book of Job says has a place and rests on pillars (Job 9:6 — “Which shaketh the earth out of her place, and the pillars thereof tremble.”), and that also has a foundation (Job 38:4 — “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth”). Whatever “hangeth the earth upon nothing” means, it definitely doesn’t say that the earth moves (except when God shakes it) or that it’s located anywhere other than the central hub of the universe.
Let’s get back to Jason:
Universe expansion: The Bible indicates in several places that the universe has been “stretched out” or expanded. For example, Isaiah 40:22 teaches that God “stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.” This would suggest that the universe has actually increased in size since its creation. God has stretched it out. He has expanded it (and is perhaps still expanding it).
We won’t bother with that one. The next excerpt from Jason’s article supposedly deals with NASA’s announcement about the new estimate of the number of galaxies in the universe:
The number of stars: Genesis 22:17 teaches that God would multiply Abraham’s descendants “as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is on the sea shore.” Genesis 32:12 makes it clear that this represents a number which is uncountable by humans: “the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.” These are excellent analogies. Clearly the sand of the sea and the stars in the universe cannot be counted exactly by humans, though of course, they can be roughly estimated.
So there you are, dear reader. It’s all in the bible. We have only one question: Is there anyone left out there who still thinks it’s a good idea to debate with — or even talk to — creationists?
See also: Bible Astronomy Is Always True, Part 2.
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