Hambo Says the Bible Is Better Than Science

This is about an old article by Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else. It first appeared at the website of Answers in Genesis (AIG), Hambo’s creationist ministry, on 01 January 2012, but we ignored it. There was probably some real news going on at the time — like a battle over creationist legislation or litigation. Those things aren’t happening these days, so we’re glad AIG is running their clunker again.

The title is Doesn’t Science Disprove the Bible. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

In today’s world we often hear statements like “science disproves creation” or “science proves evolution.” Whenever we hear such claims, the first thing we should ask is “What do you mean by science?”

You know what’s coming next. Hambo very predictably says:

The word science comes from the Latin scientia, which means “knowledge.” When most people think of the word science, they tend to equate it with technology, yet secularists also equate the word science with molecules-to-man evolution and millions of years. To help sort out the confusion [Hee hee!], there needs to be an understanding that we can divide science into two categories:

Then he babbles about the false distinction made by creationists between “Operational” (or “Observational”) science and “Historical” science. We’ve written about it several times, originally in Creationism and Science. Creationists insist that bible history (six-day creation, Noah’s flood, etc.) is true, and to preserve their dogma, they claim that “historical” science which contradicts those bible tales is a silly belief system based on unproven assumptions, because there is no way to go back in time and use observational science to prove those assumptions are correct. Our favorite rebuttal is described in The Lessons of Tiktaalik.

For your weekend amusement, here’s a bit of Hambo’s argument:

The Genesis account of origins gives us knowledge about the past, revealed by an infallible witness — God. [An infallible witness!] Those who believe in Darwinian evolution [The hell-bound fools!] claim to have knowledge concerning the past, too, but this knowledge is based upon the beliefs of fallible humans who did not witness the supposed evolutionary history. Genesis is the true account of historical science [the Truth], whereas evolution is really a fictional historical science. Thus, the battle between creation and evolution (the Genesis account versus man’s account of origins) is really a battle over historical science.

Amazingly, he claims:

Observational science (in geology, biology, astronomy, anthropology, etc.) confirms the account of origins in Genesis and refutes the evolutionary account. (Many of these confirmations are available on our website, [link to AIG omitted].

Wowie — observational science confirms Genesis! After that declaration, he tells us:

When listening to arguments that supposedly support evolution [Hee hee!], you have to learn how to separate observational science and historical science. Here is one example to get you thinking in this way: if you see a claim that sedimentary rock strata containing fossils are millions of years old, then you need to sort out what is observational versus historical science.

How do we sort it out? He explains:

The statement that rocks are sedimentary rocks is one of observational science. Both creationists and evolutionists agree on what is directly observed. [Okay, now what?] But the claim that the rocks are millions of years old falls under historical science. [Gasp!] It is not observational but rather an interpretation regarding the past.

It’s only an interpretation! That means it’s worthless! Geologists have been lying to us! Hambo continues:

Biblical creationists would not agree with this interpretation but instead interpret the fossils as a deposit from the Flood of Noah’s day or some post-Flood catastrophe that occurred only thousands of years ago.

Ooooooooooooh! It’s the Flood!

Now we’re at the end, where Hambo gives us his thrilling conclusion:

Thus, observational science cannot disprove the Bible. We agree on the observational science but totally disagree on the historical science. The problem is not with the operational science but with the mistaken interpretation of unobserved history.

We’re glad the folks at AIG decided to reprint that oldie-goldie from the past. One can never get enough of ol’ Hambo’s wisdom.

Copyright © 2019. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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13 responses to “Hambo Says the Bible Is Better Than Science

  1. The Genesis account of origins gives us knowledge about the past, revealed by an infallible witness — God.
    Where does the Bible say that about the Genesis accounts? There is no statement of authorship in the Book of Genesis. It is an anonymous work. There is an old tradition that it was written by Moses, but let us not be distracted by that.
    Anyway, Genesis 1 tells us about the beginings of God’s creation taking place in a scene of chaos of wind and water (and this is repeated by 2 Peter 3:15), and I don’t know of many people who take that as infallible.

  2. Speaking of “observational science”, which the hambone claims to like, there’s tons of observational science about rock sediments that contradicts the claim that they were formed by some imaginary world-wide flood a few thousand years ago. Dozens of layers, which one wouldn’t expect from a single flood, for example, and which contain different fossils which contradict the idea they all originated from a single incident. Radioactive isotope dating, for another. And I’m sure any geologist here could name a bunch more. Sorry, hambone, your interpretation of science is truly ignorant.

  3. “Observational science (in geology, biology, astronomy, anthropology, etc.) confirms the account of origins in Genesis and refutes the evolutionary account.”
    Yeah, especially the observational science called radiometry.
    Maybe I should rethink my statement that Ol’Hambo in a way is more honest thank Klunkcerduncker.

  4. Eddie Janssen

    Specific types of conodonts and foraminifera are found only in certain layers of sediment because these species were only present at that time. They are used by geologists to sort out sedimentary layers in different places in the world (for instance for relative dating).
    It is difficult to see how a world wide flood with it’s “waters pouring out of the deep” could achieve this.

  5. Michael Fugate

    Did Ham observe those rocks forming? Sounds historical to me.

  6. Michael Fugate

    A Sunday quote:
    “Every good Pole should know what the role of the Catholic Church is, because beyond the church there is only nihilism”
    – PiS leader Jarowslaw Kaczynski
    PiS is the populist Law and Justice party in Poland

  7. The christANALs had 2000yrs to do anything good for our lives and failed spectacularly!! Where science succeeded awesomely. I’ll take science thank you!

  8. Theodore Lawry

    Of course the Bible is better than science. Since when did science allow Ken Ham to make a buck?

  9. About “Historical Science” as distinguished from “Observational Science”.
    “Historical Science” is supposedly the science which is not available because of the distance in time. What about things which are too far in space?
    Before the mid-20th century, the planets were beyond touching. Auguste Comte, in his “Positive Philosophy”, Book II, Chapter I, page 148 said that we could never know the chemical and mineralogical composition of the planets.
    (Actually, not long after he wrote that, spectroscopy was able to tell us a lot.)
    The point is, there are lots of barriers, not only the barrier of time, which prevents us from hands-on experience and manipulations of objects. And it is the beauty and importance of real science that brings us knowledge of such things.

  10. You can’t get any ‘observational science’ out of geology, unless you watch a volcano coming up in front of your eyes.

  11. We are making climatology an experimental science.

  12. chris schilling

    Any two-bit blowhard can claim to speak for the Bible, and the god described therein. Let’s see Ken produce some written references from the god itself. And I wanna be able to contact this god, personally, to verify those references. Until then, Ken’s got bubkas. He’s a spokesman for the same human fallibilities that he rails against.

    Failing that, put this “infallible witness — God” in the dock, so we can cross-examine Him. See how He holds up against some hot-shot prosecutor, like in the movies. Then we can get this thing straightened out, once and for all.

  13. Dave Luckett

    @hans435: Well, people have done that, you know. Paracutin in Mexico; the volcanic islet of Surtsey, in Iceland.

    But how about this: drill core samples (observational science!) have established that the sediments that compose the Mississippi river delta are the very same mixture of soils that the river flows over, all the way from the Dakotas down. The knowledge (science!) that rivers build their own alluvial plains and deltas is thus confirmed. The total volume of the Mississippi river delta has been measured (observational science). Also the amount of silt passing into the delta each year has been measured (again, observation), for many different years, floods and droughts, hurricanes, storm surges, whatever. A simple calculation (although the numbers are large) can be made of how many years the river has been bringing that silt down to its mouth to build that delta. It comes out to about nine million years.

    “Aha!” says Ken. “There’s where you fall down. You don’t know how that delta formed. What makes you think that the Lord God didn’t create it that way, six thousand years ago? You weren’t there; nobody was there. Except God, of course. How do you know?”

    Well, Ken, how about the four other Mississippi deltas under the waters of the Gulf of Mexico? Same silt, same structures. Definitely river deltas, earlier mouths of the same river system that has been draining the Great Plains into the Gulf for thirty-six million years at least. Did the Lord God put them there just to fool us? And then hide them under the water so we wouldn’t know about them until we started to investigate our world with observational science? Why would God intentionally mislead us like that?

    Oh, don’t tell me. Maybe the devil did it. Father of Lies, y’know.

    The devil created something? You better be careful what you say, you Manichean heretic, you.

    Looks like we’re back to “The Lord moves in mysterious ways, His wonders to fulfill.” So, no explanation then. It was a miracle, and inscrutable.

    The natural explanation doesn’t assume anything about God, certainly not mischief or mendacity. Just that He had all the time He needed to create the world as it is by the means He ordained, the same as we see at work all around us, if we care to look. But miracles – uncovenanted, unrecorded, apparently purposeless miracles – are to be preferred. By Ken, anyway.

    But that’s because Ken is somewhere between crazy and a con man. I’ve never been able to say which one is predominant. I think it’s a bit of both, at different times.