Strange Contradiction at AIG

One thing which is absolutely clear in the bible is that The Earth Is Flat! In our post we cited at least two dozen scripture passage saying that, and we left out some duplicates. There are none saying that the Earth is a sphere — and that includes the often mis-translated Isaiah 40:22, in which “circle of the earth” actually refers to a disk.

We’re all together on that, so take a look at what was just posted at the blog of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else. The title is Falling Flat: A New Book by Dr. Danny Faulkner Refuting the Flat Earth. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

Ten years ago, Answers in Genesis [Hambo’s creationist ministry] was rarely asked about whether or not the earth was flat. We often heard atheists comparing a belief in creation to a belief in a flat earth (implying the creationist view violates what we can observe from observational science, which it doesn’t [Yes it does!]), but we didn’t receive serious inquiries about the earth’s shape.

For some reason, things are different now. Hambo says:

However, that’s all changed — it’s a question we hear frequently, particularly directed at our astronomer Dr. Danny Faulkner. In fact, it’s become such a popular topic that Dr. Faulkner wrote a book, Falling Flat, that’s now available for order.

Here’s AIG’s biographical information about Danny. They say he taught physics and astronomy until he joined AIG. His undergraduate degree is from Bob Jones University. And here’s the listing for Danny’s book at Amazon: Falling Flat: A Refutation of Flat Earth Claims. The publisher is Master Books. Their website brags that they’re “the exclusive publisher for Ken Ham, the founder and CEO of Answers in Genesis, the Creation Museum, and the Ark Encounter.”

Let’s get back to Hambo’s post. He tells us about Danny:

When he’s out speaking or meeting guests at the Creation Museum and the Ark Encounter, he receives many questions. He also hears heart-breaking stories about the impact the flat-earth movement has had on families, marriages, friendships, and even whole churches. [Really?] The prevalence of this teaching, and the damage it’s doing inspired Dr. Faulkner to write a book on the topic. He trusts it will be a helpful resource for those with “flat earth” family members or friends and those who are “on the fence” about the issue.

It’s difficult to imagine a family torn apart over the issue of whether the Earth is flat, but some families really are troubled by creationism, so hey — why not flat Earth too? Hambo continues:

Dr. Faulkner was also part of a documentary produced by The Creation Guys [whoever they are]. It features a biblical and scientific look at various pieces of evidence, conclusively showing that the earth is a sphere [Gasp!] and that the Bible doesn’t teach a flat earth. [But it does!] You can find the documentary Faith on the Edge in our online bookstore. [Link omitted.]

And now we come to the end:

If you know someone who has been captured by the modern flat-earth movement, if you have questions yourself or just want to thoroughly investigate the matter, I encourage you to order Falling Flat. [Link omitted.]

This whole topic is strange. Hambo insists on what the bible says when he preaches that the Earth is young, along with the whole universe. The same goes for the global flood and Noah’s Ark. He also believes in Adam & Eve and their sin which caused Yahweh to curse all of creation and condemn us to the Lake of Fire. All that stuff is scientific nonsense, but he claims it’s true because it’s in the bible.

He’s obviously not worried about looking foolish. In for a penny, in for a pound, right? Yet for some reason he’s not a flat-earther, although that’s in the bible too. Can you figure it out, dear reader?

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24 responses to “Strange Contradiction at AIG

  1. He knows that Australia’s in a different set of time zones than the US. Therefore, when it speaks of a flat earth, the Bible is being allegorical. But if Eden isn’t literal, we needn’t shiver in dread at the thought of our own sinfulness, and that would never do

  2. Dannyboy “trusts it will be a helpful resource for those who are “on the fence” about the issue.”
    If the book contains enough bloopers and other stupidities it will certainly be helpful for all the evilutionist regulars here, who immensely enjoy sitting on that fence.

    Our dear SC displays his ignorance and/or laziness and/or indifference:

    “The Creation Guys [whoever they are.”

    No need to buy it in Ol’Hambo’s online shop.

    “Can you figure it out, dear reader?”
    Yes, it’s simple – Ol’Hambo is worried about the foolishness of FET.

  3. I think it has everything to do do with his infamous motto:”Were you there?”
    No one was around 6000 years ago, but there are 8 billion of us who can verify whether the earth is a sphere or not. If it is a disc we should have photographs of the underside of the Earth by now, given that we can fly to the moon.
    So it is safe to say the Earth is only 6000 years old, but dangerous (because verifiable) to say it is flat.

  4. Eddie Janssenn

    Which of course does not explain why he gets away with it…

  5. Michael Fugate

    The present is more easily verified than the past, this is why it bothers them – observational vs historical.

    As TomS pointed out earlier, a day depends on a place and if day in Genesis is global and literal, then the earth must be flat. The people writing Genesis had no sense of global – the flood story is evidence of that.

    Ham no more takes the Bible literally than any other Christian does.

  6. I don’t know about youse, but I find it highly amusing that the creationists now feel compelled to write a whole bloody book to refute a claim that doesn’t even merit more than a passing blog post.

    Three hundred and eighty-five pages, no less! My insides! The flat-earthers may have done more to detract those people than an army of skeptics could ever have hoped to.

  7. The so-called Flat Earth Movement is really a bunch of ignorant, fanatical, quasi-religious nuts who are often into all manner of “alternative science”. Like Fundamentalist religious believers of all stripes, they roundly reject all evidence that refutes their emotionally based beliefs.

    It’s not evident to me why most Christian Fundamentalists, like Ken Ham, reject the Bible’s clear assumption of a flat earth but accept obvious nonsense like Noah’s Flood, but I think that a previous commenter got it right: a spherical earth is observable in the here and now. Rejecting it would be like claiming the moon is made of cheddar cheese, and would mark the person as a nut job.

    From personal experience debating with Bible believers about a flat earth, I’ve seen them come up with all manner of rationalizations as to why the Bible doesn’t mean what it says when it comes to references to the shape of the earth. My favorite is Isaiah 40:22 where “the circle of the earth” is usually argued to mean “the sphere of the earth”. A few rationalizers go so far as to quote 19th-century sources, such as the scholarly Hebrew writer Gesenius, on the meaning of the Hebrew word for “circle”, but these sources uniformly merely declare — not prove by reference to ancient Hebrew writings — that the word can be translated as “ball” or “sphere”. I’ve challenged a number of such rationalizers on this; they always quit arguing when source references are demanded.

  8. @AlanF00, Gesenius is hot stuff. If he really does argue that “hug” (Isaiah) could mean “sphere” rtather than “circle”, I’d take his opinion seriously. However, I’m not going to accept the creationsts’ claim as to what he says.

  9. This is an indication that recently the idea of a flat Earth has been spreading. It was was only a very small number of people who took it t all seriously. There were competing flat Eatherth societies which claimed that the other society was not serious.
    But today, it is being taken seriously.
    BTW, the argument about the the days of creation assume a flat Earth I learned from the writing of Philo Judaeus, of the 1st century CE (unfortunately, I have lost the reference). Philo argued for figurative interpretation of Scripture.

  10. Stephen Kennedy

    I think AIG’s fixation on flat Earth belief is an attempt to find something, anything that they can point to that might possibly appear even more ridiculous than their belief in a 6,000 year old Earth and a global flood.

  11. Michael Fugate

    The Overton window – look! There are people crazier than us!

  12. @Paul Braterman, Gesenius was a great Hebrew scholar, alright, but was certainly influenced by the prevailing belief among many of his day in biblical inerrancy. So when some interpretation was required, they generally interpreted words to match known facts, not necessarily what the original Hebrew writers actually meant.

    Gesenius did not *argue* for meanings of words in his “Hebrew Chaldee Lexicon” (published in English in stages between 1810 and 1847), but simply listed the definitions as he saw them. Obviously, English definitions of many OT Hebrew words are sometimes iffy, or even not really known. As the 19th century progressed, so did OT Hebrew scholarship. No Hebrew lexicon published after 1876, so far as I’ve been able to find, lists the Hebrew “chugh” as meaning “sphere”, apparently because no Hebrew literature, biblical or not, uses it that way. The most widely accepted lexicons of the late-19th and 20th centuries, such as the “Brown-Driver-Briggs Lexicon” (BDB) list variations on “circle” as definitions — never a 3-dimensional thing like a sphere.

    You can find my extensive comments about this, with respect to the teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses, beginning on page 150 in this draft:

  13. The Septuagint Greek translation of Isaiah 40:22 says τὸν γῦρον τῆς γῆς – ton guron tes ges – which is not the usual word for “sphere” – it just means “round [thing]”. The Vulgate Latin reads “gyrum terrae”,
    which is just a translation of the Greek. Does anyone know enough of the other ancient languages?
    BTW, “the round of the earth” is not unambiguous. The genitive (or the Hebrew construct) can be used as an appositive “the round which is the earth”, but very often means “the round thing which belongs to the earth”, which could refer to the horizon or even the dome (the firmament).

  14. I really enjoy YE creationists like Ham struggling to defend a spherical earth, which compels them to argue for a non-literal, selective reading of the Bible. That is contrary to their usual “you cannot just pick and chose what you want to take metaphorically”.

  15. Michael Fugate brings up a good point. Whenever the creation account says “there was evening and morning, the nth day”, what time zone is that happening in? Isn’t it already evening and morning somewhere while each respective creative act is still in progress? Only a flat earther would write a text that was oblivious to this.

  16. Charles Deetz ;)

    Way way too much of the bible is taken factually when it is just mostly documentary or allegorical stories. Stories! Flat or sphere were not facts of the bible, just inferred in the language of the stories. 6,000 years, abortion, democracy, slavery, etc. The rounding of pi to three in the bible is a good example of fact versus stories.

  17. Thank you, alanfoo and TomS, for those contributions. Now I am armed in case I encounter another literalist who quotes the Isaiah text to me again. I told the last one that circle didn’t mean sphere. He said that in Hebrew it does. I asked how he knew that – and of course got no reply. But silence, while damning, is unsatisfactory to both parties. It would have been so much better if I could have hit him with the research. Now I can. Thank you again.

  18. @Michael Fugate
    The essay that you linked to seems to have an error, about Matthew 4:8. On the real world, one can see farther, the higher one goes, because one sees farther over the curve of the Earth. That’s why lighthouses are high, and why, in the old days, a lookout would climb up the high mast of a ship. This is the same effect often mentioned as proof of the spherical Earth: one sees the disappearance of a ship as it sails away over the curvature with the sails disappearing last. Whether the author of Matthew realized that, I have no idea.
    But it brings up another issue: the hyperbole about “all” of the Earth. Several times the Bible mentions all of the Earth, where just about anyone will admit that it must mean merely “a lot”.
    But the YECs insist that it must be taken literally only in the description of Noah’s Flood. For example, in the story of Joseph in Egypt, Genesis 41:57, the
    whole world came to get grain. Who
    insists that people came from the
    Americas and Australia?
    See also the story of Solomon 1 Kings 10:23 and about Pentecost in Acts 2:5.

  19. Michael Fugate

    Hey, he believes the moon landing was a hoax.
    He is trying to out literal the literalists – it is all boasting about how “Christian” one is by believing something no one else believes and claiming that is what the Bible really says. It is ramping up the miracles and the conspiracy theories.

  20. 385 pages! Seems like a few nice images of the big blue marble is all it would take.
    I do have one question: I’m wondering if one believes the heresy that the Earth is flat, do they end up in the Lake of Fire?

  21. There is a story about one flat-Earther who said, when shown a photograph of the Earth from space, “It’s easy to see how a photograph like that could fool the untrained eye.”

  22. Michael Fugate

    Why didn’t Dr. Danny use the Curmudgeon’s RTI hypothesis?
    If Ham can use uber-rapid evolution to reduce the animals on the ark, then why not a propose uber-rapid changes in the earth and solar system?

  23. I’m thinking a bit more about the length of Danny’s book. 385 pages might actually hurt the case for the spherical Earth. It makes it look like there is a controversy, when there isn’t. It looks a bit like the globist doth protest too much. Naturally, it was a complete and utter waste of Danny’s time and anyone who would see fit to read his book. Of course no one is actually reading them, it looks like Hambo has to resources to make his own vanity press. If you look on Amazon the number of reviews is minuscule!