Ken Ham’s Young Earth Evidence

The evidence for the age of the Earth from geology, biology, and astronomy is overwhelming. Nevertheless, creationists disagree — especially Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else. Hambo just posted this at the website of Answers in Genesis (AIG), his creationist ministry: Matt Walsh and a Young Earth. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

Recently the popular Catholic political blogger Matt Walsh made a fairly lengthy video [no link provided] explaining why he was not a young-earth creationist and why he thinks young-earth creationists are a stumbling block to the faith of many people. The video is filled with strawman fallacies, misunderstandings, and mischaracterizations of what creationists actually believe. After watching the video, I was left wondering if he had even read any of our literature discussing the age of the earth.

Yeah, how can anyone be truly informed without reading the stuff Hambo puts out? He says:

Walsh’s main points were that the days in Genesis could not be twenty-four hours and that science has proved the earth is billions of years old. [Egad!] We have repeatedly addressed these claims on our website, again making me wonder if he did any research before making his video.

Hambo is furious that his creation science was ignored. He goes on criticizing Walsh:

However, the fundamental point that Mr. Walsh is making is that he is more willing to rely on man’s fallible word than to trust God’s infallible word. [The fool!] He repeatedly cites “science” [Hambo’s scare quotes] as the reason the earth cannot be young. Yet, when observational science is performed, there are mountains of evidence from geology, astronomy, physics, archaeology, and so on that the earth is indeed young.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! He continues:

By accepting the dogma of secular science [Gasp!], Walsh completely ignores the context of God’s infallible Word. His claim that the days in Genesis cannot be twenty-four hours because a day is defined by the earth revolving around the sun and spinning on its axis reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of what a day is. Though he’s correct to say that the sun, according to Scripture, wasn’t there until the fourth day, the length of the day has nothing to do with the sun. [Hee hee!] It is entirely dependent on the rotation of the earth. [Which isn’t mentioned in the boble.]

So the Earth’s rotation in the dark was sufficient? Right! Let’s read on:

It is very ironic that Walsh regularly defends biblical positions such as biblical marriage, human life made in God’s image beginning at fertilization, two created genders and so on, but rejects the foundation for those beliefs.

That is a bit odd. Another excerpt:

Without appealing to Genesis, there is no foundation for marriage. [But somehow, marriage exists in places that never heard of Genesis.] Abortion becomes perfectly acceptable if we aren’t made in the image of God. Get rid of spare cats or spare kids — what’s the difference? Why should we have two genders if God did not make them male and female in the beginning? [Good question!] Genesis provides the answers to those questions.

Verily, we’d be lost without Genesis. Here’s more:

While Walsh did not mention it, I wonder what he makes of how Jesus affirmed that Genesis was the beginning in Mark 10:6? Or how he feels about Exodus 20:11 which tells us everything was made in six literal days? See, this is the problem with trying to fit billions of years into Genesis. It always ends up compromising the Bible in places outside of Genesis too.

In for a penny, in for a pound. Hambo’s rant goes on:

So either we accept the whole Bible naturally, as it is written, or we reject the whole thing. Trying to fit the Bible with the secular timeline just does not work.

Now that is true. And now we come to the end:

Here at Answers in Genesis, we are committed to answering the questions posed by secularists and compromised Christians about what the Bible says. We have a lot of articles on these topics, some of which are listed below.

He then has links to 17 — yes, seventeen! — AIG articles on young Earth and stuff. You should save that list, dear reader. According to Hambo, you can’t do research without it.

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63 responses to “Ken Ham’s Young Earth Evidence

  1. When I went to Ham’s FB page and asked if any of he had submitted any of his work for peer review, he deleted the question and blocked me.

  2. Michael Fugate

    Matthew 4:8-9
    “Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.”

    Legend has it as a 1200′ hill outside Jerusalem. The earth is flat, no?

  3. The Bible says that the Sun, Moon and stars were placed in the firmament to make day and light on Earth, to mark the passage of days and seasons.
    The Bible was understood for about 2000 years as saying that Earth is motionless with Sun, Moon and stars circling it. One cannot justify that that language is obviously not literal.
    The Bible has nothing to say about a barrier limiting the burst of microevolution after the Flood,
    fossils being sorted in the Flood, an Ice Age, etc.

  4. Charles Deetz ;)

    Hambo’s postulate that the bible is infallible makes winning any discussion with him a fool’s errand. Like our president, he chooses his own truth and stubbornly sticks to it until we give up or accept his position.

  5. Well now, if the sun wasn’t there until the fourth day, the earth must have been happily bobbing along in space amongst the stars until the sun magically captured it into it’s orbit!

  6. Dave Luckett

    Ham’s an authoritarian. One symptom of authoritarian thought is absolutism: all the Bible or none of it. The idea that the Bible is a many-voiced, many-valued compilation of many different sources and authors cannot occur to Ham. To Ham’s mind, authority is indivisible. But more than that. The indivisible authority is also his own.

    That’s why Ham has no qualms about putting into the mouth of Jesus words He did not say. Jesus must be affirming Ham. It could not be that Jesus said nothing about when or how creation took place. It could not be that Jesus did not say that Genesis is to be read literally. No, no. Jesus must be agreeing with Ham, no matter what His recorded words actually mean. That is, it is not Jesus’s authority that is paramount in Ham’s mind. It is Ham’s own authority.

    Ham has actually become his own god.

  7. The bible contains something about the stars falling to earth. Given what we know about the relative sizes that’s an interesting event to contemplate.

  8. Besides the 17 articles there are apparently ALOT of plaques to read inside the ark outlining the crazed ravings of a fundamentalist madman. Don’t miss out!!!

  9. Come on, Curmie. Let’s do a collaborative project, for you to eventually summarise on-line, to rebut Ham’s 17 “- yes, seventeen!” claims.

  10. Ham will never change and will continue to be a moron till the end of time.

  11. Ham is a liar and con man. Bilking the gullible.

  12. “The fool hath said in his heart that God’s Word is infallible.”

  13. “Get rid of spare cats or spare kids — what’s the difference?” Now, as someone who cares about other living things, this offends me. A cat is not a toy, to be discarded when you get bored with it. It is a living, feeling creature, just as you are. So is the woman with that ‘spare kid’ inside her. An embryo is not.

  14. “no link provided”
    Apparently the video is on Facebook, in which I’m very much not interested. Here’s an excerpt:

    It’s just theology, so I’m still very much not interested. The question whether their god is a liar (point 5 – I have read the headers) or not is as meaningless to me (or even more) as the queston whether a random pebble at a random beach is a liar.
    As for Ol’Hambo’s rant I think only one point interesting.

    “he is more willing to rely on man’s fallible word than to trust God’s infallible word.”
    Whenever Ol’Hambo explains away that the Earth is flat, pi equals 3 and bats are birds he wants me to rely on his fallible word.

    @DaveL concludes: “Ham has actually become his own god.”
    No, Ol’Hambo being the holiest man in the world by definition is too modest for this. He’s satisfied with being 2nd assistent, just after Jesus and equal to the Holy Spook who completely fills him.

  15. Dave Luckett

    Ah, FrankB (and I know this is just theology), but by becoming equal to the Holy Spirit, Ham becomes equal to God, for the HS is God. Not an assistant, not an avatar or a demigod – very God, wholly God, God in His Third Person.

    And no, it doesn’t make any sense to me, either. Never did.

  16. Mark 10:6, “From the beginning He created them male and female”. Perfectly compatible, if that’s what you fancy, with indirect creation through the operation of laws fashined for that purpose and operating over billions of years; such, I take it, is the position of the theistic evolutionist.

    My point is, that every time I look into Ham’s claim that evolution can’t be true because of what jesus said, I find that claim to be as fraudulent as his “science”.

    I’m sure others here know the Gospels far better than I do. Comments?

  17. There are stories in the Gospels where people ask Jesus for what they should do. I don’t think that Jesus ever says “be sure to read the Scriptures literally”. There is nothing in the Bible which encourages one to read the Scriptures literally. If one reads the writings of those from the culture which produced the Bible, the original audience for the Bible shows very free readings to be the norm.
    ANd, of course, the moderns who tell us about the importance of reading the Bible literally, show that they feel free to let their imaginations roam.

  18. The problem with interpreting the Gospels– or anything else in the Bible– differently to YEC’s is that you’re still playing on their terms i.e. treating the source text as inherently valuable or interesting to begin with. Maybe it is; maybe it isn’t so much, for those of us who’ve found more interest and wisdom in non-biblical sources.

    You can be reasonably familiar with the bible narratives, and different ways of reading them, but who wants to get bogged down over theological exegesis, or semantics? It’s too enervating, and you can’t beat them at that game. It’s more productive to throw out their paradigm altogether, and argue for a different and better one.

  19. Chris S, I’m actively exploring the kind of approach you reject. I claim that it is possible to demonstrate the bankruptcy of literalism precisely on its own terms (TomS referrred here earlier to the Documentary Hypothesis). I think this may be a powerful and under-used tactic. Darrow deployed it with uncharacteristic clumsiness in the Scopes trial, when he asked Bryan who did Cain marry. We can do a lot better than that

  20. Paul Braterman says: ” I claim that it is possible to demonstrate the bankruptcy of literalism precisely on its own terms”

    Of course! Flat Earth, the firmament, and the Earth-centered universe are the most obvious examples. Even creationists — most of them, anyway — don’t bother trying to defend those things.

  21. True, and you wield this weapon well. But with a few fringe exceptions, the literalists just deny that the Bible really says that, or make up fanciful explanations (e.g. the Firmament was made of water vapour), and we then get into a morass of chapter-and-versing.

    Another strand, which you have also used, is pointing to non-biblical sources. For example, Noah shares a common origin with Unapishtim. We have human voices across history; an emotionally attractive alternative to magical Divine Utterance.

  22. True, and you wield this weapon well. But with a few fringe exceptions, the literaists just deny that the Bible really says that, or make up fanciful explanations (e.g. the Firmament was made of water vapour), and we then get into a morass of chapter-and-versing.

    Another strand, which you have also used, is pointing to non-biblicval sources. For example, Noah shares a common origin with Unapishtim. We have human voices across history; an emotionally attractive alternative to magical Divine Utterance. Such emotional appeal, I think, may be the key

  23. I was raised in the Young Earth belief; Genesis was literally true and you’d better believe it. Ironic, however, that so many other parts of the bible were not taken so literally. The theological argument was much like that of Hambo, original sin, redemption, etc. But, given the obvious conflict with science and the hypocrisy of the ministers, I often wondered, whether they truly believed what they preached or had ulterior motives such as position, power, money, even sex. I’m sure there are many sincere believers, but too many preachers seem to prey on their flocks.

  24. “make up fanciful explanations”
    Which are not literally in the Bible and hence are not any better than explanations used to make Evolution Theory acceptable. Better still: like I wrote above, if we are not to trust fallible human words I have no reason to trust anything any literalist says either – his/her explanations are human hence fallible as well.
    Still I’m not really interested; I think pointing out and mocking the inherent dishonesty that results from “creationism is science” works better. I’ll leave Bible Exegesis to christians. For a non-believer like me there is no reason to care.

  25. Karl Goldsmith (@KarlGoldsmith)

    It’s fun when morons argue. We need a creationist debate, What did the earth do before the sun?

  26. Breaking news: my native country is flooded with evidence for IDiocy!

  27. As far as the Bible’s geocentrism, that was taken literally by everybody for about 2000 years. How can one say that it was obvious that that was not meant to be taken literally?
    And there are serious people who are geocentrists today. My impression is that they do a better job of defending geocentrism, both from the Bible and from the science, than any anti-evolutionist. For one thing, at least the geocentrists have an alternative, they are not just negative. They are not prone to self-contradiction. And most of the common arguments against geocentrism are failures.

  28. Michael Fugate

    Intuition, common sense, observation using only your senses, etc. – things the DI wants us to trust as a means to discredit evolution – also discredit heliocentrism and a rotating earth. Why would anyone believe the earth is spinning on its axis at ~1000mph?

    The DI motto should be “don’t think, react.”

  29. And I would argue that intuition, common sense, observation using the unaided senses, etc. support evolution. It is obvious that we are related to the rest of life, and most closely related to chimps and other apes.
    But real point of heliocentrism is made by this: Nothng in astronomy makes sense except in the light of heliocentrism.

  30. I have been in a discussion with a YEC for months now. When I point out that Genesis I and II had two different (human) authors, I was told that, no, Genesis was written down by Moses, as he was told by God. And God doesn’t lie. End of argument.
    It’s like hitting a brick wall.

  31. God does not lie, murder, rob.
    Those are thngs that we mortals do.
    God is beyond value judgements like those.

  32. @Hans: tell your YEC that pi equals 3 and bats are birds.

  33. Michael Fugate

    All humans lie.
    Moses is a human.
    How do we know Moses is telling the truth?

  34. Did Moses write chapter 34 of Deuteronomy?
    If not, where does it say that Moses wrote everything but this chapter?
    If so, wasn’t the report of Moses’s death and subquent things false when Moses wrote them?

  35. @FrankB
    Those are not said in the Five Books of Moses.

  36. @FrankB
    Excuse me. “Pi=3” is not in the Five Books of Moses.

  37. @Hans435, if you ask,simply, whether Adam was created before the animals (Genesis 2), or after (Genesis 1), do you get an answer?

    If you ask if (s)he approves of the stoning of stroppy teenagers, Deuteronomy 21:18-21, do you get an answer?

    However, Moses was a prophet, so no problem with his writing about his own death. He was also so exceedingly humble that he could write Numbers 12:3, “Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.” Some people find this argument completely convincing

    BTW, I don’t approve of using “pi = 3” as an argiment; it is, seriously, correct to within 5% and unreasonable to demand more

  38. And I’m not even sure that we can fault bats being classified as birds, if by “bird” you mean “flying animal”

  39. (That classification *is* in the dietary laws in Deuteronomy)

  40. @Paul Braterman
    “ask,simply, whether Adam was created before the animals (Genesis 2), or after (Genesis 1), do you get an answer?”
    You can trip an innocent YEC with that question – the guy I am talking about is one of the creationist gurus in our parts of the world. He goes out and preaches that stuff. He gets all his info from CMI and they are prepared for such trivial questions:
    Genesis 2 simply zooms in on Day Six and shows some of the events of that day.
    I know, it’s crazy and you can’t dig any deeper using logic. But it’s good enough for your common YEC in the street.

  41. @Paul Braterman
    ‘However, Moses was a prophet, so no problem with his writing about his own death.’
    It ought to be said that “prophet” strictly means one who speaks on behalf of God. It doesn’t necessarily mean someone who foretells the future.

  42. As far as Genesis 2 and the order of creation: There are Bibles which say that the animals “had been” created. Biblical Hebrew does not have tenses like English, rather “aspect”; in this case, it is in the perfect aspect, and you’re going to have to claim fluency in Biblical Hebrew to argue this point.

    As far as Moses being capable of fortelling the future (or, as one could argue, that he was just recording what God had told him): For some reason, Christian literalists do not choose this option. There is the long tradition that Joshua, acting as Moses’s secretary, completed the last chapter of Deuteronomy. (After all, it is just a tradition that Moses wrote the Pentateuch, anyway.) That just seems to be one of those things that Fundamentalists insist on. Moreover, Deuteronomy does not write of the events after the death of Moses as a prediction, but as having happened. Read Deuteronomy 34: it tells us about things long after Moses as if they have already happened. (I suppose that one could say that there is a prophetic tense to verbs which allows one to essentially ignore grammar in prophecies. Some literalism, eh?)

    As far as pi=3 and bats as birds, we’re never going to get some people to lighten up a bit on that. Yes, taxonomy of the Ancient Near East differs from modern scientific taxonomy. And yes, the Bible is very inexact in its use of numbers. The imprtant thing in this context is that mentioning these is just going to make your Fundamentalist think that you are just being obtuse. (Anyway, the “pi=3” thing isn’t in the Pentateuch. Yes, the “bats are birds” is.)

  43. @Arcy
    Thank you for bringing up the point about prophecy. It is important imho.

  44. Michael Fugate

    Not to mention that letters are ascribed to Paul that likely were not written by him. Then again Paul never meet Jesus except in a “dream” and doesn’t really seem to get what Jesus was about in the Gospels.

    I just wonder about God being omniscient and the depiction in the OT – why does it appear as if God doesn’t know what is going on most of the time?

  45. I was of course being sarcastic, but really have met intelligent people who deny that Isaiah has more than one author; why should an author not change his style when he changes subject matter? And (most relevant here) saying that ofc there was no problem having a prophet from the time of King Hezekiah (d. 686 BCE) addressing Cyrus of Persia (ruled 560 – 530 BCE) by name. He was a prophet, wasn’t he?

    Deuteronomy itself says that if anyone clams to be a prophet, speaking in the name of the Lord, but what he foretells does not come to pass, then he should be put to death. Sometimes I think this is not such a bad idea.

  46. And there are warnings about adding to the Scriptures.
    Yet that does not seem to stop would be literalists.

  47. Given that Moses wrote about the existence of the kings over Israel, how does one make sense about the later debate whether Israel should have a king? In particular, the statements of the Lord at the time of the debate.
    There seems to me that there is a lot of work that has to be done just to support Mosaic authorship, which, after all, is only a tradition.
    Yes, I know that Jesus said that some of the Books of Moses contain the words of Moses, yet if one is willing to make an exception for Deuteronomy 34, why not make exceptions for other post-mosaica?

  48. @TomS, “I know that Jesus said that some of the Books of Moses contain the words of Moses” Chapter and verse? I know he referred to the words of Moses, but that need no more imply endorsing authorship than our referring to the Books of Moses; it could simply be a lable. So I want to check wording

  49. Most of the proof-texts that the Fundamentalists cite about Mosaic authorship are of the vague sort, “books of Moses” or such. Of course, Exodus-to-Deuteronomy can be called the books “about Moses”, and one could accept that the Laws of Moses reproduce the intent of Moses, without being his words. The closest that I can think of is John 5:46 – “If you believed Moses you would then believe me, for it was about me that he wrote.” This tells us that we have some of the writings of Moses – although it isn’t clear exactly what text of the Pentateuch is meant.
    What I am trying to do is to bend over backwards, concede a point where it
    is not critical to my argument. Let me not argue whether Jesus thought that we have some of the exact words of Moses in the Pentateuch, and then let me observe that the Fundamentalists themselves allow for some of the Pentateuch is not the words of Moses, on the basis of it being difficult to accept that Mmses wrote that. If we find it impossible to insist that Moses wrote Deuteronomy 34, then why not admit that other, well-known, A-Mosaica and Post-Mosaica are also not the words of Moses.

  50. TomS, I remember nothing in the Pentateuch that could be said to refer to Jesus. The only interpretation I can put on that verse is that “Moses” is being used very loosely, to encompass the prophetic writings.

    Would you agree?

    The point is worth pursuing, since it relates directly to the literalist argument that Jesus validated the Genesis account, which must therefore be believed

  51. My personal take on this is to agree with you. But think that it is not a good idea to pursue this thus, because it is not necessary for the argument that Moses did not write the Pentateuch. It is a distraction – which the creationists are masters of. It is a good distraction for a creationist, because it raises a point which will be vigorously defended: Jesus can’t make a mistake. Even if you soften the point to say that Jesus was speaking of prophecy in general, using a figure of speech “Moses=prophesy”, it will raise the hackles of a fundamentalist by suggesting an error on the part of Jesus. You’re not going to win, I guarantee that. I’m just trying to make a small point, that Moses didn’t write the Pentateuch.

  52. Agreed, we’re talking about what’s rhetorically useful. Some here, no doubt, will thiink we’re pissing against the wind anyway, but I insist on not giving up so easily.

    Me [scence]
    Creationist “But Jesus said…”
    Me: Chapter and verse please
    Creatioist: [Biblical reference]
    Me: You are imposing *your* interpretation on Jesus’words. Jesus said *nothing* about evolution vs separate creation, or the meaning of the “days” in Genesis, or anything that would stop a good Christian fro accepting the current science, as many do, and have, since the 1830s [if the issue is an old earth. Or 1860s, if the issue is evolution; modify as appropriate].

    Would *that* work? Ofc, I am not going to shift the confirmed Hammite, but am thinking of how this woulld look to bystanders

  53. Michael Fugate

    You could simply ask “Why do you interpret that verse to imply that Jesus endorsed a young earth or a special creation of humans or whatever they are claiming.

  54. @Michael Fugate: Paul never meet Jesus except in a “dream” and doesn’t really seem to get what Jesus was about in the Gospels.
    It’s not surprising that Paul didn’t know about the Jesuses of the gospels, since he was dead before they were invented.

  55. I don’t think that we have much of a disagreement.
    I will say that I am disappointed when, in a “debate”, the creationist gets away with saying that he’s just relying on the Bible, when he’s just making stuff up.

  56. Ondeed, TomS; if you don’t know the blog “Is that in the Bible?” I think you’d enjoy it:

  57. Michael Fugate

    @jim – but Paul knew people who knew Jesus including Jesus’ brother James.

  58. @KarlGoldsmith: We need a creationist debate, What did the earth do before the sun?

    The Earth doesn’t need the Sun. Day and night are features of the universe, established by Elohim very early in his creative endeavours (Gen 1:3-5). With a correct understanding of the cosmology which underlies the first Genesis creation myth, it is clear that, as explained in Gen 1:14-17, the Sun and the other decorations of the firmament can be useful for various purposes, but they do not cause the distinction between day and night, see Gen 1:4-5, nor are they the principle sources of light, Gen 1:3.
    This agrees with simple everyday observation, so it is not surprising that the authors of Gen 1, like others before them, understood day and night, Sun and Moon, the way they did. At the start of the day, the whole sky lightens, then the Sun rises. At the end of the day, the Sun sets, then the sky darkens and the stars appear. Some days the sky is so clouded you cannot tell where the Sun is, or whether it is present at all, but there is plenty of light.
    These days, we all know that practically all our light comes from the Sun, and that day and night are due to the rotation of the Earth: but how many of us can give a satisfactory explanation of how this gives rise to what we observe?

  59. @Michael Fugate; @jim – but Paul knew people who knew Jesus including Jesus’ brother James.

    Paul doesn’t say he knew Jesus’ brother James. He knew “James the brother of the Lord”. In this sense, all baptised Christians are brothers of the Lord.

    But my point was, that Paul couldn’t know what would be claimed in the gospels, written decades after his death.

  60. Yeah, in Genesis 1:16, the sun is created to “rule” (note the anthropomorphism) the day, and the moon to rule the night. There’s no indication that the author understands that day is caused by, and only by, the light of the sun; nor that the moon reflects the sun’s light.

  61. BTW, the Moon is in the day sky as often as it is in the night sky. Often the night sky has no Moon to rule it.

  62. Mark Germano

    It’s as if there’s a poetic or artistic element to Genesis, so wasn’t mean to be read literally.

  63. Ashley Haworth-roberts

    (This is the video – which apparently neither Ham nor you specifically linked to: