This one is the most thrilling post we’ve ever seen anywhere, and we found it 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. It’s titled Genesis — It Explains the Origin of Everything!, and it was written by ol’ Hambo himself. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:
The meaning of anything depends on its origin. [Really?] And did you know that the book of Genesis gives us an account of the origin of all the basic entities of life and the universe? [Wow!] Let’s start listing them:
What follows is a huge list, one item below the other. We’ll change the format to save space, but here’s the list:
The origin of space, matter, and time. The origin of the earth. The origin of water. The origin of the atmosphere and hydrosphere. The origin of light. The origin of plants. The origin of the sun, moon, and stars. The origin of the universe and solar system. The origin of land animals, flying creatures, and aquatic creatures. The origin of man. The origin of man’s dominion over the creation. The origin of why man has to work hard. The origin of woman. The origin of marriage. The origin of the family. The origin of evil. The origin of sin. The origin of death. The origin of clothing. The origin of man’s need for a Savior. The origin of the sacrificial system. The origin of thorns. The origin of languages. The origin of government. The origin of cultures. The origin of people groups. The origin of nations. The origin of the chosen people.
Wow — that’s an ark-load of origins! Then he says:
Yes, Genesis explains the origin of everything! Genesis is a very important book as it provides the foundation for the rest of the Bible, for our Christian worldview, for all doctrine, and, in fact, for everything.
Okay, the point has been made. After that he tells us:
To understand the meaning of marriage, we need to understand its origin. Sadly, many Christian leaders who compromised Genesis with evolution and millions of years haven’t taught this foundational history to coming generations. Even many conservative Christian leaders have been so intimidated by secular scientists and compromising Christian academics that they have not taught Genesis as literal history. But if people don’t have the foundation in Genesis concerning the origin of marriage, one can understand how they might be easily influenced by the LGBTQ worldview. [Gasp!] This, sadly, is happening to many young people even from the church. Many don’t really understand Christianity as they should and can’t explain what Christians really believe and how to defend the Christian faith.
Fascinating! He continues:
Let’s also consider the gospel. How can a Christian explain the gospel without explaining where man came from, why we are accountable to God, what sin is, why we die, why we needed a Savior, and why Christ died and rose again, without the foundational history in Genesis?
Okay, okay — the point has been made. Everything depends on Genesis. Let’s read on:
The above is just a tiny glimpse of why Genesis is so important and why it is vital that Christians take it as written — as literal history. … Satan knows if he can cause people to reject the literal history of Genesis, then the foundation of the whole Bible, of all doctrine, of the Christian worldview — of everything — is undermined. That’s why Genesis has been so attacked in our day.
Ah yes, that explains so much! Here’s another excerpt:
And that’s why Answers in Genesis exists — to provide resources to equip the church with answers to stand boldly on the authority of the Word of God from the very first verse.
Isn’t Hambo wonderful? He rambles on a bit more, but our post is already long enough, so we’re going to end it here. If you want to read all of Hambo’s post (and who wouldn’t?), just click over there and wallow in it.
Copyright © 2023. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.
Ah, but it wasn’t just Hambo – the bottom of the post contains the usual Miranda warning: “This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.” Think of those poor people slaving away in the dungeons of the Ark, assisting Hambo in his rants.
Hambone, your hypothesis that Genesis is literal history is supported by what data? Let us know if you find any.
“Satan knows if he can cause people to reject the literal history of Genesis…”
Some origin stories you don’t want to delve into too closely, Ken. Satan has an origin story, too, and it lies more with Zoroastrianism than Judaeo-Christianity. Very cunning, though, to cast Genesis naysayers as satanic or under the imagined influence of the Evil One.
Genesis does not, as far as I can see, explain:
* The majority of forms of life on Earth, the microbes. There is no mention of life other than animals and plants (and us be generous, and allow mushrooms as plants). There is no mention of the origins of bacteria, archaea, and a lot of eukaryotes.
* Lots of elements, and ordinary matter, are not mentioned: helium, titanium, uranium, protons, neutrons, electrons. There is no mention of what “dark matter” might be. Let alone their origins.
* There is no mention of how many dimensions of space (and time) there are, let alone their origins.
* And then, what about the origin of The Bible? What does the Book of Genesis have to say about its own origins? What does Genesis have to say about the origins of the Book of Job? What does Genesis have to say about the origins of the “deuterocanonical” works, like the Books of Maccabees? What does Genesis tell us about the origins of the composition of the entirety of the Bible? What about the distinctions between what have been termed the four sources of the Pentateuch? What does Genesis have to say about the origins of the story(ies) of Noah’s Flood?
*What does Genesis have to say about the origins of the Pyramids of Egypt (or the Pyramids of Mesoamerica), Stonehenge, the Great Wall of China? The craters on the Moon, the rings of Saturn (and of other planets).
“But if people don’t have the foundation in Genesis concerning the origin of marriage, one can understand how they might be easily influenced by the LGBTQ worldview.”
Everyone can understand except for Jesus the not-exactly-a-rocket-scientist yet somehow omniscient deity who still burns them in hell anyway.
“You might call that notion ironic.” –Master Sergeant Farell
Of course Ham’s list of “Origins” is so much bombast and hot air. Many of the items on it – time, space, water, the atmosphere, the oceans, the earth itself – are either not mentioned at all, or, like living things, are not explained except by saying the earth “brought them forth” at God’s command.
Some of the items are shrewd, and based on real phenomena. “In sorrow (or pain) will thou bring forth children” is real enough, and I stand witness to its truth, but the Genesis attribution to the curse of a vengeful god is plainly twaddle, on obvious physical grounds. Human beings have trouble, pain and danger in childbirth because on top of all the other things that can go wrong, human infants have large heads and human women are bipedal.
And so it goes. TomS’s list of things that Genesis does NOT account for, is apposite and accurate. The Genesis writers display exactly the knowledge of the Universe that one would expect for human beings in their time and place. That’s because those writers were human beings in that time and place. They were not God. They were not instructed by God, nor were they writing to God’s dictation.
But for Ham and his faction, authority is the very air they breathe. They must have it. They cannot do without it. It’s that which causes this otherwise causeless insistence of the literality of Genesis, not any theological necessity. But Ham’s an authoritarian, so he’s got to have an authority. He would do whatever he thinks his authority requires.
There’s so much woe packed into that statement, that it’s difficult to do anything but contemplate it in dismay and chagrin.
“How can a Christian explain the gospel without explaining where man came from, why we are accountable to God, what sin is, why we die, why we needed a Savior, and why Christ died and rose again, without the foundational history in Genesis?”
You might be surprised Ken. Two important lessons of life. 1) Never underestimate the ingenuity of religious apologetics. 2) Never park at a fire hydrant factory because you will get a ticket no matter where you park.
“The Genesis writers display exactly the knowledge of the Universe that one would expect for human beings in their time and place.”
The writing of Genesis shows exactly a culture of the Ancient Near East, which means *either * it was a product of such a culture, *or* it was intelligently designed to give that impression.
Avoidance of anachronism is not accomplished by chance, but only by careful attention to details.
“How can a Christian explain the gospel without explaining where man came from …”
Genesis says that Adam came from the dust of the earth.
How is that essential for explaining the gospel?
As distinguished, for example, were every man (and woman, too) born from his mother, by natural processes that we have begun to understand in the last couple of centuries?
I don’t know. Apparently Ken thinks sin is impossible without dust I guess. I have more faith in people than Ken does. They definitely will find a way to sin somehow.
I don’t see this scenario happening: “Oh, I’m not made from dust, I better not sin then.” Seems counterproductive to the gospel if people outright refuse to sin in the first place.
Ken will tell you that human beings are completely unable to avoid sin. He’s right, so far. We were always capable of sin because we had free will. That capacity renders it impossible for us not to sin. It’s an inseparable part of the human condition. We can’t help it. It’s part of us.
But what Ken won’t tell you is that this “fruit” can be taken figuratively. Nobody has to take the story literally to believe both that we sin and that we can recognise the fact. We do, and we can. And the rest follows.
We know we sin. If we have a conscience at all – some people don’t seem to, but most do – we inevitably feel oppressed by the knowledge. We have done wrong, The guilt is ours.
That’s the point of the Gospel, the “good news”. We sin and we know we sin, but we are redeemed. We can be absolved by grace. Terms and conditions apply, see the fine print, but in principle, it can be done. We need not dread the future. We can regret the past, and we should make what amends we can, but we are relieved of the crushing burden of incontrovertible wrong-doing.
By insisting that the fruit and the tree and the serpent and a first couple are all literal history, Ham is robbing the story of its significance and destroying its mythic power. By labouring the impossible, he trivialises and negates the value of the insights it can have, if accepted as a story. By doing that, he is barring the way to people who could accept the point, but who can’t accept magical fruit or talking snakes.
Ham is telling them that they must. Ham is wrong, dead, flat-out, wrong. Certainly his corrosive ignorance and purblind refusal to reason can do harm to science. Yet from a purely Christian view, the harm he does to the Faith is yet worse.
Just an idle thought, could it be that we sin when we are faced with situations of bad choices: we are “damned if we do, and damned if we don’t”?
To add to TomS’s list:
What does the bible tell us about the origin of God?
What about the origin of Heaven? Hell? Satan?
If Babel is about the origins of languages, where did French, Italian and Spanish come from?
The origin of self congratulation. “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.” (God talking to himself.)
I think it is more likely that God is real.
There are many reasons why I believe this.
First, the order and complexity of the universe are evidence of a creator. The universe is so vast and complex that it is difficult to believe that it came into being by chance.
Second, the existence of morality is evidence of a moral lawgiver. Morality is not something that can be explained by evolution or any other natural process. It is a universal law that transcends cultures and time.
Third, the existence of religious experiences is evidence of a divine presence. Many people have reported having experiences that have led them to believe in God. These experiences are often very personal and powerful, and they can be difficult to explain in any other way.
Of course, there are also arguments against the existence of God. Some people argue that the existence of evil and suffering in the world is evidence that God does not exist. Others argue that the universe can be explained by natural processes without the need for a creator.
However, I believe that the evidence for God’s existence is stronger than the evidence against it. I believe that the order and complexity of the universe, the existence of morality, and the existence of religious experiences are all evidence of a creator.
Ultimately, the question of whether or not God is real is a matter of faith. There is no right or wrong answer, and each individual must decide for themselves what they believe.
The question which was supposed to be answered from Genesis was the origins, not the reality.
As far as I know, there is nothing in Genesis (or anywhere else in the Bible) about the origins of God.
Biblical marriage according to Genesis includes Abram impregnating Sarai’s slave girl Hagar, something similar with Jacob and the slave girls of both his wives, young women being sold by their father (both of Jacob’s wives, again), and arranged marriage contracts when the parties have not even met (Isaac and Rebecca). There’s more, but that’s enough for the moment.
Everyone likes the Epic of Gilgamesh, but if people thought it was an infallible literal documentary then everyone would think it’s stupid. A great example of how religion poisons everything. Adam and Eve -> great story -> religion gets its claws on it -> stupid story.
Hambo is entering his gish gallop phase. Something riled him, or he is losing his discipline. Any 10 year old in sunday school could pick one of these arguments of his and nag him to no end. I’m tempted, but don’t think his grandstanding is worth my effort in responding to pick apart the holes, fallacies, or non-sequiturs.
TomS asks a difficult question, essentially, “Do we sin when, being faced by only bad choices, we choose one? Are we, in that situation, damned if we do, and damned if we don’t?”
And it is often true that we have only bad choices. Economics is not called “the gloomy science” for nothing, but the effect is not confined to economics.
I don’t know the answer. The only attempt at it that I can make is to say that the choice must be made after a thorough factual comparison of the outcomes, using the best data available, and the least harmful then chosen. But that choice must be made in the light of the law of unintended consequences, and therefore it must be, so far as is possible, reversible if that monster rears its ugly head. Provided that be done, I can’t see how the concept of “sin” can arise. But how would I know what sin is, in the eyes of God?
Is it sinful, then, to be simply wrong? All I can say is that I think sin requires the intent or the reckless indifference to hurt another, including by deprivation. I know no more than that.
As for the origins of God, the only clue is that although the first verse of Genesis can be translated at least four or five ways, all readings imply that God began all things, and therefore was before the beginning of all things. If He was there before all things were created, and is the only Creator, then it must follow that He was not created, and therefore transcends time and space. He had no beginning, any more than He has an end.
“2. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God mooed upon the face of the waters.”
God was the offspring of cows.
I think that a reasonable reading of the first words of Genesis – and I admit that there are other plausible readings – says that the beginning of god’s creation was to bring order and light to a chaos of wind over water.
Note how God wasn’t powerful enough to create a fully formed Earth. Or anything else for that matter. When you have to separate the water from the water waters you are one weak deity.
Agents making use of design to accomplish their goals are not showing super-natural (let alone omnipotent) powers. They may have a reason for restricting their powers to the merely natural design. But we have no warrant for inferring anything super-natural merely from design. (Even if it were design beyond any example which we could know about or imagine.)
Well then !!!!! Ol Hammy has summarized a bachelors degree course of study in science in a single paragraph. Impressive.
Making life so simple. For simpletons.