AIG Says the Earth Is Young But Not Flat

As we often remind you, acording to literally dozens of uncontradicted passages in the bible The Earth Is Flat! Nevertheless, none of the creationist websites we follow ever admit this. Except for Discoveroids, they’re not embarrassed to say that the Earth is only 6,000 years old and was recently punished by a global flood, but they all refuse to say that it’s flat.

We see this at the website of Answers in Genesis (AIG), the creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else. They just posted A Sort-of Book Review of Flat Earth: The History of an Infamous Idea.

It was written by Dr. Danny R. Faulkner. 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. Here are some excerpts from Danny’s post, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

I recently read Christine Garwood’s 2007 book, Flat Earth: The History of an Infamous Idea. [Here it is at Amazon] … I’m glad that I did. It is a very well-written and detailed book. Garwood is a historian of science, and she knows her trade well. I already knew quite a bit about leaders of the flat earth movement in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, such as Samuel Rowbotham, Lady Blount, and Wilbur Glenn Voliva, but Garwood’s book filled in many details.

It’s a long article, so we’ll be skipping a lot of it. After a few paragraphs about Rowbotham, Danny says:

For some time, I had thought that the current flat-earth movement began when someone stumbled across books written by leaders of the flat-earth movement of more than a century ago. But now I’m thinking that perhaps it was Garwood’s book that may have given some ne’er-do-wells the idea to relaunch flat-earthism in the 21st century.

You gotta love it — one of Hambo’s creation scientists says the flat Earth folks are “ne’er-do-wells.” Then he tells us:

As an astronomer with a Ph.D. in astronomy and enough course work for a Ph.D. in physics, flat-earthers regularly dismiss my knowledge and expertise as rubbish. Some of these people whose formal education likely ended in high school think that they know far more about what science is and how it ought to be conducted. [Danny can somehow say that at the same time he works for ol’ Hambo’s creationist ministry.] … . There is only one word for the combination of such colossal ignorance and arrogance: hubris.

Oblivious to the irony of his situation, Danny gives us several paragraphs telling about flat-earthers and their bogus arguments. Although it’s fun to read, we’re skipping that stuff. Then he returns to the subject of Garwood’s book:

Throughout the book, Garwood mentioned the apparent similarity between flat-earthers and those who believe in a six-day recent creation. Though she doesn’t agree with biblical creationists, Garwood’s treatment is very fair. As a six-day recent creationist, I greatly appreciate her unbiased approach. Since I began writing about the flat-earth movement four years ago, there have been several critics who have responded to some of my articles. They point out what they think is very obvious hypocrisy on my part, or, at the very least, my supposed inability to see that I’m guilty of exactly what I criticize flat-earthers of doing. So, let me take this opportunity to address these accusations.

This should be fun! Danny continues:

Do flat-earthers and biblical creationists have much in common? [Hee hee!] For those flat-earthers who claim to base what they believe on the Bible, there appears to be some overlap. In fact, many flat-earthers say that creation ministries such as Answers in Genesis were very helpful in their development, but since have moved beyond us in believing that the earth is flat. Many flat-earthers speak well of Answers in Genesis, only expressing regret that we don’t endorse the notion that the earth is flat.

This is great stuff! Let’s read on:

However, some flat-earthers aren’t so kind. Shortly after Henry Morris founded the Institute for Creation Research (ICR), Charles Johnson approached Dr. Morris to combine forces to combat not only evolution and millions of years but also the “satanic agenda,” promoting the idea that the earth is a globe. Naturally, ICR declined this union. Consequently, Johnson became a critic of ICR and biblical creationists for not upholding what he thought was the whole truth of the Bible against the assault of science. Some current flat-earthers share this assessment of creation organizations such as Answers in Genesis.

Your Curmudgeon agrees — young-earthers and flat-earthers are natural comrades. In for a penny, in for a pound! But Danny doesn’t agree. He explains:

Keep in mind that not all flat-earthers today profess to base their beliefs upon the Bible. But those who do claim that the Bible clearly teaches the earth is flat. [It does!] You’d think that if that were the case, then somewhere in the Bible there would be at least one verse that says something like, “The earth is flat,” but no such passage exists. Instead, self-professed biblical flat-earthers must build their case upon questionable interpretations of several passages, at best drawing an inference.

Nonsense! Our discussion of the subject, to which we linked at the start of this post, lists numerous unambiguous passages about the Earth’s flatness, in both the Old and New Testaments — and there are no bible verses saying that the world’s a sphere. Danny probably knows this. Ah well, skipping an ark-load more from Danny’s post, we come to this:

There is another large difference between flat-earthers and creationists who don’t think the earth is flat: we don’t believe that everything in the Bible is literally true. [What?] For critics of biblical creationists, let me say that again: we don’t believe that everything in the Bible is literally true. [This is amazing!] I’m sure that our critics will be stunned to read this, but it’s their own fault because they have been too busy criticizing us to read or listen to what we say.

Okay, Danny, we’re listening — explain it to us. He explains:

We biblical creationists recognize that there are different genres in the Bible. The poetic and prophetic passages are replete with nonliteral usages. But before our critics go running off with what they think might be some great admission or blunder on my part, be aware that these nonliteral literary devices are largely absent from the historical narratives found in Scripture. And it isn’t that difficult to distinguish between the different genres in the Bible. But both flat-earthers and Bible skeptics can’t seem to (or don’t want to) grasp this.

Ah yes, it’s our fault! And now we skip to the end:

I believe that the first incarnation of flat-earthism began in the 19th century partly as an effort to discredit the Bible and Christians. The rise of Darwinism at the time certainly played a role in this. I also believe that the 21st-century rebirth of flat-earthism is an attempt by some within the movement to undermine creation ministries such as Answers in Genesis. [Wow — flat Earth folks are Darwinists!] Proclaiming the truth of biblical creation is my calling. Thus, I view the flat-earth movement as a direct threat to what I do, and I continue to battle this either misguided or malicious movement.

So there you are. The flat Earthers are either misguided or malicious. Only young Earth creationists preach The Truth.

Copyright © 2020. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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32 responses to “AIG Says the Earth Is Young But Not Flat

  1. Most amazing admissions!
    Next, Danny should review Ronald Numbers’ book “The Creationists”. It came out in 1992, with an updated edition in 2006.

    Great to see creationists fighting amongst themselves. Throw in the old-earthers and intelligent designers for more fun.

  2. That should have been “most amazing admissions”. The Enter button is the biggest enemy of email and blogging! [Voice from above:] All is well!

    I recommend reading the whole article. Our dear Curmudgeon had to cut out too much of the juicy parts. And that’s written by a PhD in astronomy – plus “enough course work for a Ph.D. in physics”, as he proudly proclaims.

  3. Michael Fugate

    Conspiracy theories – only I possess and am willing to face the truth.

    The best part is that since “historical” science is invalid, we can’t know if the earth was flat in the past; we can only know its shape now. Great stuff, Danny!

  4. It is true that for a long time that many Bible readers accepted that the Earth was round like a ball.
    I’d rather point to the small group of modern geocentists, those who support the idea that the Earth is motionless in the center of the universe and that the heavens, including the Sun, Moon and stars, make a daily orbit of the Earth. This was the universal belief of all Bible readers since antiquity until the rise of modern science about the year 1500. (There were a few hints of some doubts about this: some Ancient Greek non-Christians considered heliocentrism, some Islamic scholars also, there were a few in the Judeo-Christian tradition who proposed that Mercury and Venus were exceptions to the orbiting of Earth, and a few medieval considered the possibility that the Earth had a daily rotation, only to reject that.) In brief, essentially everyone who took the Bible seriously, for a couple of thousand years, accepted that the Bible taught geocentism. It is not the case that seeming geocentric passages in the Bible are obviously or clearly poetic or metaphorical. Essentially nobody over a long time noticed that. It is not obvious. If the Bible is to be read literally except for such obvious cases, then the Bible teaches geocentrism.
    The other exception which some people propose, is when science has proof accessible to the ordinary person, that one can reject the plain sense of the Bible. But the science which is conclusive for heliocentrism is not elementary. It requires at least some years of college-level specialized study in mathematics, physics and astronomy.

  5. Desnes Diev

    “As an astronomer with a Ph.D. in astronomy and enough course work for a Ph.D. in physics, flat-earthers regularly dismiss my knowledge and expertise as rubbish”

    Flat-earthers do no real work but disdain “six-day recent creationists” (aka YEC) and scientists.
    “Six-day recent creationists” (aka YEC) do no real work but disdain flat-earthers and scientists.
    Scientists are working hard to understand the world, and they also must correct the pseudoscientific allegations of both flat-earthers and SDRC/YEC.

    This said, I can understand those who do not take too seriously someone who have a Ph.D. in astronomy but thinks the whole universe has a diameter smaller than 10 000 year-lights, centered on Earth (if not himself?). He must have slept through some courses.

  6. Michael Fugate

    Genesis 1 is not poetic – even though it has repeating choruses and fits into a seven-day week.
    Genesis 2 is not poetic – even though it has a god scooping up dirt and shaping a human and taking a rib and shaping another. Not to mention a talking snake.

  7. “For those flat-earthers who claim to base what they believe on the Bible”
    BWAHAHAHAHA! Lovely, really.
    Dannyboy already has mentioned Samuel Rowbotham. That 19th Century loon at least took the effort of thinking up an actual experiment, something creacrappers never do.

    “Johnson became a critic of ….. biblical creationists”
    Remarkable for two reasons.
    1. What do unbiblical creacrappers look like? I guess Dannyboy had the IDiots from Seattle in mind.
    2. This is a good example of what will happen to science if theocrats take over – infinite quarrelling about what constitutes science based on Biblical exegesis. Worse than the Middle Ages, actually.

    “questionable interpretations of several passages”
    BWAHAHAHAHA!
    Exactly what Young Earth Creacrappers do when asked about the correct Biblical value of pi and whether bats are birds or not.

    Our dear SC draws a partially incorrect conclusion:

    “Wow — flat Earth folks are Darwinists!”
    No, it’s even better – Flat-Earthism is a product of the Darwinist Conspiracy. Never mind that Rowbotham published his first pamphlet about seven years before Origin of Species.

    “Proclaiming the truth of biblical creation is my calling.”
    Yeah, Dannyboy, that’s what Biblical (ie about all) Flat Earthers say too. But I can tell you this – I enjoy sitting on the fence. I might even consult a few FET sites to check if anyone reacts.

  8. @TomS: “It requires at least some years of college-level specialized study in mathematics, physics and astronomy.”
    Not really. It’s not hard to understand that we are free to choose our coordinate system as we like in both an Euclidean space and a relativistic spacetime. In neither it’s mandatory to place any celestial body in the origin. Hence “geocentrism” and “heliocentrism” have become anachronisms as far as math, physics and astronomy (which btw is part of physics) are concerned. I also refer to Galilean and Lorentz transformations (which, to keep it simple, are a kind of geometric translations.
    Of course a 21st Centruy geocentrist model would have nothing in common with Ptolemaean-like models.

    And I’ve never visited college (at least not at a university).

    @DesnievD: “scientists …. also must correct the pseudoscientific allegations of both flat-earthers and SDRC/YEC.”
    They should leave that to mentally healthy non-scientists like you and me, who enjoy getting engaged in discussions they cannot lose.

  9. chris schilling

    Creepy flat-Earthers to Danny:
    “Come and play with us, Danny. Forever…and ever…and ever…”

    Danny shuts his eyes in terror. Yahweh starts talking to him through his finger.

    Scriptural interpretation is a maze for the easily confused — all those literary genres! — but fear not, Danny the True Christian™️ pedals his low-rider tricycle, little legs pumping furiously, and navigates it with ease.

    As long as you stick to the talking snake and magical fruit, and a demi-god coming back from the dead, you’re on safe ground. 🐍+🍎=☑️

  10. Dave Luckett

    chris schilling, if you must dabble in theology, at least don’t misrepresent Christian belief. According to the beliefs of every sect within cooee of Christianity with prescribed beliefs at all, Jesus Christ was NOT a “demi-god”. He was fully human and fully God, very God, divine in His own Person, the Second of the Trinity, sinless, stainless, and the only being ever to walk the earth capable of being the perfect sacrifice that “takes away the sins of the world”.

    The fact that this set of ideas contains overlapping internal contradictions in each and every element of it, is beside the point. Those are mysteries, says the Christian church, to be met only with steadfast faith.

    It might be crazy, but it’s awesomely crazy. And it doesn’t actually have anything to do with talking snakes or magical fruit. Most Christians and Christian churches will go for the first set, but regard the second as fable and metaphor.

  11. Michael Fugate

    So they say.

  12. @TomS: “I’d rather point to the small group of modern geocentists, those who support the idea that the Earth is motionless in the center of the universe and that the heavens, including the Sun, Moon and stars, make a daily orbit of the Earth.”

    In an infinite universe perpetually in motion, one may pick any arbitrary point as the center and calculate all motions on that basis.

    Why not pick the center of the earth? Why not geocentrism?

    OTOH, why not pick the center of Sol? Why not heliocentrism?

    Either choice has its unique uses, as do the infinity of other arbitrary choices. Be that as it may, some choice is always necessary (contra FrankB).

    (Btw, @FrankB says much the same, with the usual continental obfuscation, and except as noted.)

  13. And Now for Something Completely Different

    NASA Fixed Mars InSight Lander by Making It Hit Itself With Shovel

    Hahahahahahaha — Yankee ingenuity.

    And it only took them a year to figure it out.

    https://interestingengineering.com/nasa-fixed-mars-insight-lander-by-making-it-hit-itself-with-shovel

    Background:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/06/nasa-mars-insight-lander-stuck/592234/

  14. @DaveL: “He was fully human and fully God, very God, divine in His own Person, the Second of the Trinity, sinless, stainless …..”
    Which means that killing off innocent pigs (Marcus 5:13) is not a sin but morally totally OK.

    @Random needs a slight correction: “some choice is always necessary (contra FrankB)”
    This is probably the result of a misunderstanding. With

    “In neither it’s mandatory to place any celestial body in the origin”
    I didn’t mean it’s possible to make no choice at all (well, actually it is, but it would make it impossible to do any calculation). So no, you are not “contra FrankB” at all and “except as noted” is superfluous. But thanks for clarification.
    While we’re entertaining ourselves with nitpicking: the choice you make doesn’t need to be any celestial body indeed – some random point between Earth and Moon for instance is also allowed.

  15. @FrankB and @Random
    I don’t inderstand your point. Are you saying that there is no objection to geocentrism?

  16. @TomS: “I don’t inderstand your point. Are you saying that there is no objection to geocentrism?”
    Exactly — depending on the context.

    In some circumstances/contexts or for some purposes, choosing the center of the earth as the center of the universe makes absolute sense.

  17. @FrankB — Got it.

    Thanks.

  18. Eddie Janssen

    Random:
    but what about Newtonian physics. The sun orbiting the earth doesn’t work in our laws of gravity.
    If I am not mistaken someone added a note in Copernicus’ book that his was a purely mathematical model of the solar system, not necessarily a description of reality. Is this what you are suggesting?
    Because of this note the book was only indexed relatively late in history(1616).

  19. “The sun orbiting the earth doesn’t work in our laws of gravity.”
    Why not?

    https://physicsabout.com/newtons-law-of-gravitation/

    Nothing in this famous law forbids the Sun oribiting the Earth or the Earth orbiting the Moon.
    The only problem is a practical one: calculations can quickly become insanely difficult. But if you want to calculate the position of the Moon relative to the Sun at a given moment it’s probably easiest to place the Earth in the origin of the chosen coordinate system.
    The laws of gravity are universal. That doesn’t only mean that they are correct in our entire Universe, they work in any given coordinate system.

    The problem with geocentrism in relativistic spacetime is that faraway objects will have orbital velocities that exceed the speed of light, which would be contradictory. But relativistic laws of gravity still would work just fine.

  20. Dave*, there aren’t many around anymore, but Newton was an Arianist:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arianism

    Also, the LDS are considered a Christian Sect – mainstream since Romney – and they, afaict are arianist.

    *I don’t know what cooee means

  21. @Eddie Janssen

    FrankB answered you better than I could have — hats off to him.

  22. So, there is agreement:
    If one says that the Bible is to be interpreted literally, with two possible exceptions
    1) It is obvious that it is poetic or metophorical
    2) Science has obvious proof to the contrary
    Then, because those two exceptions do not apply in the case of the Biblical statements of geocentrism
    Such a believer should accept geocentrism.
    Thank you.

  23. I’d be curious to see a list of Danny’s PhD work in physics. He has “enough for a PhD”? Usually when I see PhD I assume that the work entails particular cohesive research leading to a thesis or published paper about some that established academic credibility to do more research (and of course to teach, the origin of the “doctor” title). Perhaps someone more academically inclined might correct me if I’m wrong here.
    I suspect Danny isn’t doing much research these days. He’s using his PhD to impress rubes, not to establish credibility with peers.
    A professor of mine likened getting advanced degrees as finding out more and more about less and less… so publishing papers makes wonder.
    Of course Danny’s motivation is easy to see here. You have to keep out the crazies or they’ll drag you down. As Aesop put it, “birds of a feather”.

  24. Theodore Lawry

    @Troy. Go to Nasa Abstracts and set “Danny Faulkner” as Author. You can filter the results by year (after 1989) and by whether it is peer reviewed. You will get about 69 papers (peer reviewed, post 1989) papers, almost all of them done in collaboration with R. Samec of Bob Jones U. and almost all are observations of variable stars. It is not cutting edge astronomy but it is real research. Has nothing to do with creationism however.

    Samec tried to do a creationist paper on variable stars and made an utter fool of himself, divided by 1,000 when he should have multiplied! Look for

    The Apparent Age of the Time Dilated Universe I: Gyrochronology, Angular Momentum Loss in Close Solar Type Binaries. Ronald G. Samec and Evan Figg. CRSQ, Summer 2012 Vol. 49, p. 5-18.

    where the mistake was made, and

    The Apparent Age of the Time-Dilated Universe II: Gyrochronology, Magnetic Orbital Decay of Close Solar-Type Binaries and Errata. Ronald G. Samec. Creation Research Society Quarterly, Summer 2016, p. 42-57.

    where Samec admits to it (in a very low key way)

  25. @Theodore Lawry
    Interesting coincidence. I don’t know whether it is meaningful, but divide by 1,000 instead of multiply makes for a factor of 1,000,000. Just the right factor to make10,000 years from 10,000,000,000 years.

  26. This fellow Danny Faulkner is on a mission and it doesn’t involve science in any way, shape or form.

  27. Dave Luckett

    Arianism is the teaching that Jesus the Son and God the Father were not only distinct in person, but also not fully one and the same, although it does not deny that both were God. The distinction is very technical, and can perhaps be best understood as a slightly different approach to the mystery of the Trinity, but one condemned as a heresy early on by the mainstream Church. It still crops up from time to time, true. Newton is usually described as a Unitarian, that is, one who believes that that God is not three persons, but one – which is somewhat in the opposite direction, but also a heresy.

    Opinion as to whether the LDS are Christians or not is divided. But then again, the same is true mutually between the Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox Churches. I think, however, that the LDS are considered by all three major branches of Christianity to be far more divergent and heterodox than any of them think the other two are.

    As och will says, this has nothing to do with science in any way, shape or form. Anyone who attempts to comprehend the agonies Christianity put itself and others through over the mystery of the Trinity will see an abrupt descent into madness. As Nietzche remarked, better not to look at such an abyss. Staring into it allows it to stare into you.

  28. “Opinion as to whether the LDS are Christians or not is divided.”
    Meh, a discussion about definitions, unavoidably resulting in boring semantics.
    Of course it won’t change anything regarding the content of what LDDers (oops, I almost typed LSDers) believe and that’s what really matters asaIc.
    Such discussions about definitions are also part of christian legacy, ultimately based on the incorrect idea that language determines reality. Discussing whether the LDS are christians or not is the intellectual counterpart of Expelliarmus.

  29. Dave Luckett

    As it happens, FrankB, I did not define either LDS or Christianity. I was stating the attitude of most of the latter to the former. Since both require beliefs that I hold to be abhorrent or absurd or both, I have no particular interest in defining them. I do get a little exercised when their beliefs are misrepresented, because the misrepresentation allows their adherents to pose as victims. Their real beliefs are repulsive or ridiculous enough. There’s no need to attribute to them stuff that they don’t believe.

    It’s like saying that the Old Testament is the product of a bunch of bronze-age goat herders. It isn’t. Iron age city-dwellers redacting, in some cases, older stories, yes, I’ll go for that. But that also describes Homer, pretty much, and I would disapprove of decrying Homer on those grounds.

    Why should I be concerned about the attitudes of one religious group to another? Simply because it illustrates an improvement in the west, at least. Until at least the Enlightenment (which happened later than most people think, in a lot of places), such differences would have resulted in religious wars and burnings at the stake. Even in the twentieth century, over most of the west, there was sporadic violence, worse in some places. I’ve no doubt that it occasionally comes to handbags at twenty paces, even in the US, even now. And of course, there’s still plenty of places that are in the jihad and immolation stage. But westerners have been doing better lately, and that gives me hope.

  30. @Theodore
    Thanks, very interesting.

  31. “Arianism is the teaching that Jesus the Son and God the Father were not only distinct in person, but also not fully one and the same, although it does not deny that both were God. The distinction is very technical, and can perhaps be best understood as a slightly different approach to the mystery of the Trinity, but one condemned as a heresy early on by the mainstream Church.”
    And when Arius died of an anal prolapse, it was obvious that God and Jesus had given their opinion of his teachings.