Once again, we find ourselves 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. This one is titled Is the Bible a Science Textbook?, 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]:
During a radio talk show, a caller once asked me, “Is the Bible a science textbook?” Of course, secularists would say the Bible is not a science textbook. They would claim it’s a book of mythology. So, how did I answer?
Well, dear reader, what would you expect from someone who insists that the Flood and Noah’s Ark were real? Hambo gives us his answer:
I said, “Well, I’m glad the Bible is not a science textbook like the ones they use in school, because those textbooks basically change each year. But the Bible doesn’t change. The Bible itself states, “Forever, O Lord, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens” (Psalm 119:89).
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! It’s better than a science book! Then he says:
In fact, there are many verses of Scripture to tell us that God’s infallible Word, unlike man’s fallible word, lasts forever. [Scripture quotes.] So, is the Bible a science textbook?
Well, is it or isn’t it? He tells us:
Well, first of all, we need to understand what the word science means. It is derived from the classical Latin scientia, meaning “to know.” The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines it as “the state of knowing: knowledge as distinguished from ignorance or misunderstanding.” In other words, the actual meaning of the word science is knowledge.
What can he do with that? He continues:
Now, words can be used in different ways. For instance, when people talk about doing chemistry experiments or studying cells under a microscope in biology, they will say they are studying science. But then, secular scientists studying the supposed evolution of life — when they weren’t there to see it happen — also call that “science.”
Ooooooooooooh! It’s called “science” when scientists don’t know what they’re talking about! Let’s read on:
That’s why when I debated Bill Nye “the Science Guy” in 2014 at the Creation Museum [link omitted], I said the first thing we needed to do was define our terms. I made sure people understood that science meant “knowledge.” To help people understand the different ways the word science is used, I wanted to make sure I taught them how to think — and not just what to think — about this topic. [Very important!] That’s rather radical for education these days! I explained that being able to observe and repeat experiments in the present is very different from discussing the topic of origins when humans weren’t there to observe what was happening.
Ooooooooooooh! The origin of humans isn’t science! Look what Hambo does with that brilliant insight:
Doing repeatable experiments in the present to gain knowledge is “observational” or “operational” science. But talking about the origins issue is a very different type of knowledge. We call that “historical science,” as we are talking about the past—trying to understand history. That’s a very different type of knowledge indeed. [Hee hee!]
Watch what Hambo does with that brilliant dichotomy:
Sadly, the same word science is used by secularists and others for observational science as well as historical science. So most students are brainwashed to think that because studying science put man on the moon, a marvelous technological feat, then we have to believe scientists when they say science proves evolution. They don’t realize there’s been a type of “bait and switch” to use the same word (science) to mean very different things.
This is really great stuff! Here’s another excerpt:
Students aren’t being taught how to think correctly about science. [Hambo’s bold font!] It’s one of the reasons they get easily brainwashed to believe evolution and millions of years are true (as have many church leaders and Christian academics for the same reason) — because they think science (and really scientists) have clearly shown this.
When it comes to the Bible, we need to understand that it is primarily a book of history and spiritual and moral matters. It’s God’s history book to us. In a way, we could say it’s God’s textbook of historical science. The Bible also deals with geology, biology, astronomy, and so on. When it deals with these topics, we can trust it because it’s God’s Word. Unlike “science” textbooks in public schools, it never changes.
Ooooooooooooh! It never changes. And now we’re skipping some stuff to get to the end:
Because the historical science (the “earthly things”) in the Bible is true, the moral and spiritual teachings based in that history are true. Christianity is based on real history, the history God recorded for us in his Word — the Bible. Evolution and millions of years are false history.
There it is, dear — brilliant stuff from ol’ Hambo. Isn’t he great?
Copyright © 2023. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.
Observational ham sandwich: a sandwich you can see on the plate. Historical ham sandwich: the ham sandwich after you ate the sandwich. Ham salad, nobody knows what ham salad is. Avoid both ham salad and Ken Ham. Run far away when you see them.
Bible means books, yada yada yada, books, books, books, yada yada, several paragraphs more, there I babbled and belabored for a long time, many many words, something something.
Take a look at the online Merriam Webster entry on the word “science”. It has 5 entries, of which one is quoted here. BTW, there is no notice taken there of observational science vs. historical science.
Of course there is no notice taken in Merriam-Webster of a supposed distinction between observational and historical science. That distinction exists only in Ham’s mind, where it lies with any assertion that Ham can conceive of himself or import from any source that supports Ham’s delusions. In other words, it doesn’t exist in reality.
Does Ham know that? Does he believe the utter nonsense he utters? It’s impossible to say. What he certainly does believe is that he can make a profit from uttering it. He believes that because he has empirical evidence of it.
But even to say that much is to assume a rational reason for something Ham asserts.
Ark: “a widely distributed bivalve mollusk that typically attaches itself to rocks with byssus threads.”
No way Noah could have fit all those animals and people on the ark without a miraculous intervention.
bard chatbot (after giving its own delightful review of the film):
Barbie hasn’t been released yet and those things the critics said are made-up quotes.
Insert reference to CSI and historical evidence in a trial. Maybe not a10 year olds argument, but a 15 year old should be able to counter with this of the trip of their heads.
If there is a distinction to be remarked on between observation and history, it is a matter of remoteness of time. But there is also remoteness of space – we cannot reach or change or experiment on stuff which is too distant in space (stuff which today is beyond the Solar System, but until recently, much beyond the surface of the Earth), or even nearby, but is difficult to reach (we can only dig so far). Or is too big for us to work with, or too small, or happens to fast or too slowly. Or is too expensive, or dangerous, or is unethical to experiment on.
What makes science interesting and important is just the sort of knowledge that can be attained beyond what is the here and now.
We *know* that there is a center to the Earth. We know that there is helium in the Sun. We know that there are atoms.
“Sadly, the same word science is used by secularists and others for observational science as well as historical science.”
Great stuff. Play word games with the word science and then accuse everyone else of equivocation. Truly the hand of a master.
Remember “micro-evolution” vs. “macro-evolution”?
One can imagine “micro-gravity”, concerning apples falling from trees, and other stuff that we can experiment with, vs. “macro-gravity”, concerning planets orbiting the Sun, stuff that we cannot reach, being too far, or too big to change, or over too long a time (like some of the periods of comets).
And then, what about the “fine-tuning” of the parameters of nature? If they are truly fine-tuned, then radioactive half-life is determined over long periods of time. How different is the unreliability of “historical science”, how different from “omphalism”
Ken says the universe was created “mature” instead of with the appearance if age. 😄
So basically a mid-life crisis universe.
An adult mammal has learned survival skills. It has memories of where to find water, of what good tasting foods look like, of associations with other of the same species. If they were created as adults, there were false memories.
Sounds kinda like instinct, which is a thing.
Humans and other mammals, and probably other animals, learn survival skills, beyond the ones that they are born with: instincts. We remember finding an oasis, we remember being hurt by a hot object, we remember our mother; and that is common among mammals.
If we come into being as adults, we have those survival skills but we did not have the experiences by which we learned them. Do we call that “knowledge”? Is that being a fulfilled human, having no memories? What do we talk about?
How we learn language, except by having prior experiences of people using those particular sounds? What kind of instinct is there that would have us using the definite article (as in Hebrew, Greek and English, but not in Latin, Russian or Chinese)?