Answers in Genesis & the Flat Earth, Part 2

Earlier this year we wrote Answers in Genesis and the Flat Earth, in which we described an attempt by Danny Faulkner to discredit the belief that the Earth is flat. Danny is one of the creation scientists at Answers in Genesis (AIG) — the creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the Australian entrepreneur who has become the ayatollah of Appalachia. Here’s AIG’s biographical information about him. They say he taught physics and astronomy until he joined AIG. His undergraduate degree is from Bob Jones University.

It’s amusing to see AIG argue against a flat Earth, because both the Old Testament and the New have an ark-load of passages that unmistakably say otherwise. We gave several examples in The Earth Is Flat!, but as we’ve previously posted, at least since the time of Aristotle, educated people knew the world was a sphere. And a generation after Aristotle, in the third century BC (well before the time of the New Testament), Eratosthenes computed the earth’s size. But none of that information found its way into the bible.

Danny did a decent job of arguing that the Earth is a sphere, but he never addressed any of the bible passages declaring it to be flat. Today he’s writing about the same topic. His latest post at the AIG website is A Flat-Earth Prediction Falls Flat. We’ll give you some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis.

He begins by mentioning his earlier article, and then says:

In this article, I will test a prediction based upon the flat-earth model and show that the results of the test clearly contradict the prediction.

Then he presents a bizarre flat-Earth model, one which may be popular among flat-Earthers, but we’ve never seen it before:

In the flat earth model, the sun is 32 miles in diameter and about 3,000 miles above the earth’s surface. According to this theory, this rather modest sun orbits the axis of the earth’s North Pole each day (Figure 1). The sun is a spotlight that illuminates a region of the earth under this spotlight. As the sun orbits, different parts of the earth are illuminated, producing day and night. This motion also would bring the sun alternately closer and farther from each and every location on the flat earth. The sun allegedly appears to rise and then set each day as a result of perspective.

Danny discredits that silly model, using lots of math and diagrams. Ignoring all that, which is most of his article, Danny concludes by telling us:

Once again, I urge Christians not to be taken in by flat-earth nonsense.

Okay — we’re convinced. But so what? Although flat-Earthism is scriptural, it’s not a serious problem these days. It hasn’t been since the time of Aristotle — in spite of what the bible says. One would think that a similar dedication to evidence would result in the fading away of creationism — but somehow that doesn’t happen. Why?

Danny never even gets close to that subject. For some inexplicable reason, AIG ignores scripture regarding the shape of the Earth, yet they fanatically insist that the bible is unerringly true about the 6,000 year age of the universe, the miraculous creation of all living things in a few days, and a global Flood a mere 4,000 years ago. As we said at the end of our earlier post:

There’s no way to get around it. If the bible is correct about Adam & Eve, Noah’s Ark, and all the rest, then it must also be true that the Earth is flat. Nevertheless, the Earth isn’t flat. Danny knows this. But he can’t face the consequences.

We’ll finish by telling Danny that we’re very impressed with his latest post. We haven’t bothered to study his spherical Earth arguments, but it appears that he can think rationally when he wants to. We agree with him — the evidence clearly shows that the Earth isn’t flat — despite what the bible says. But why, Danny, don’t you agree with the evidence that tells us the Earth isn’t young, and that life evolved over a period of hundreds of millions of years? Why, Danny?

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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9 responses to “Answers in Genesis & the Flat Earth, Part 2

  1. What does it matter if Christians believe in a flat Earth? This wouldn’t stop them from say inventing the M.R.I. machine, now would it?

  2. michaelfugate

    If one can deny common descent based on a narrow reading of the Bible, then why not deny a spherical earth for the same reason?

  3. There are two possible rejoinders for the flat earth being scriptural.
    The first is that the Bible is clearly not speaking literally. Thus many people even from the first days of Bible reading accepted that the Earth is not flat. (And, BTW, there is also the solid firmament that goes along with the Ancient Near Eastern cosmology reflected in the Bible.)
    The second is that the evidence available to us is so strong that we must accept that a literal interpretation must be mistaken. Nowadays, intercontinental travel and communication is so commonplace that we cannot believe in a flat Earth.

    What is interesting is to compare and contrast (1) the Flat Earth with (2) the Fixed Earth and Geocentrism and (3) the Fixed Kinds.

    As far as (2) and the reading the Bible, nobody accepted a non-literal reading for something like 2000 years (500 BC to AD 1500). We can’t say that it is obvious that the non-literal reading is obvious. As far as the evidence for heliocentrism, I would challenge anyone who does not have at least a college education in physics or astronomy to present the evidence for heliocentrism.

    On the other hand, as far as (3), is there any history of people promoting a reading of the Bible, where the Bible is literally saying that kinds are fixed, over that same 2000 years? As far as fixity of kinds, I dare say that nobody found that in the Bible before the 20th century. The idea of fixity of species, that has a tradition of a few hundred years, not any earlier than 1500 or so, maybe 1600 or 1700. And as far as evidence, today’s creationists have allowed that there is sufficient evidence to reject fixity of species, in favor of fixity of kinds. And I can argue that the evidence for common descent of many kinds is accessible to anyone with a high-school education. Anyone can see that tetrapods are mostly related to one another. Particularly, given the weak evidence from the Bible. Where does it say that birds are not descended from dinosaurs?

  4. Theologians insisted for centuries after Copernicus that geocentrism had to be true, not necessarily because of the passages describing a flat earth — which they could be less literal about — but because stories like Joshua’s Long Day and Hezekiah’s moving sundial can’t be true unless the sun orbits the earth.

    Ham is in a similar boat with creationism. Many creationists are willing take Genesis 1 non-literally — and they all take the chaos-combat stories non-literally — but they need the Eden story to be factual, and that entails creationism.

  5. Doctor Stochastic

    The 3000 mile distance to the sun is noted here.
    There are several Flat Earth Societies.

  6. James B Theuer

    I knew a creationist who claimed that he would only ever “believe” in evolution if he could live for eons and witness “macroevolution” for himself. He said he “believed” in geosphericity because of pictures from space, and that this was equivalent to living since the precambrian in terms of “proof.” When I informed him that the first space photo was from a V2 rocket in the 40’s, and that geosphericity was known for more than 2000 years before then, he said the bible actually confirmed it before science. WTF? The SC is correct. Debating creationists is dumber than creationism.

  7. TomS says: “As far as the evidence for heliocentrism, I would challenge anyone who does not have at least a college education in physics or astronomy to present the evidence for heliocentrism.”

    No problem. Galileo did it. See Creationism, Galileo and the Phases of Venus.

  8. The phases of Venus show that Venus goes around the Sun.