Category Archives: Creationism

Is Genesis History? Well, nope

 

Image result for is genesis history

Is Genesis History? is a DVD to show that early Genesis is “history” and that the earth is a few thousand years old, God talked the universe into being in 144 hrs, the flood was worldwide and most of the strata were laid down at that time. Evolution is a big no-no.

It has the support of most creationist groups and many of their “experts” have contributed to this beautifully flawed production.

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More can be found on their website. https://isgenesishistory.com/ 

The introductory page makes it clear.

“Will strengthen confidence in Scripture, clarify understanding of the relationships of revelation, science, history, and faith, and enhance understanding of difficult questions all while being both beautiful and entertaining.” – E. Calvin Beisner, PhD

Is Genesis History? features over a dozen scientists and scholars explaining how the world intersects with the history recorded in Genesis.  From rock layers to fossils, from lions to stars, from the Bible to artifacts, this fascinating film will change the way you see the world.

The film’s goal is to provide a reasonable case for Creation in six normal days, a real Adam and Eve, an actual fall, a global flood, and a tower of Babel. Dr. Del Tackett, creator of The Truth Project, serves as your guide—hiking through canyons, climbing up mountains, and diving below the sea—in an exploration of two competing views … one compelling truth.

This says it all, but who are the experts?

Experts Interviewed

Many people don’t realize just how many scientists and scholars see Genesis as the key to understanding the world around us. Each of these experts has spent decades working in his respective field to better understand how it relates to the history recorded in the Bible.

 

Those who fllow Young Earth Creationism will recognise most of these names. It’s true that they have Ph.D.s and have worked for years in their chosen fields, but…..

I’ve met five of them, but none have more than a few academic papers to their name – which, in the case of geology, do nothing to refute “old earth ” geology. At times their treatment of standard science is duplicitous.

And so another page deals with their answers to “questions”.

https://isgenesishistory.com/category/questions/

I’ll focus on one – the theologian Douglas Kelly

 https://isgenesishistory.com/when-did-the-church-stop-reading-genesis-as-history/

Dr. Douglas Kelly explains the history of the church’s relationship with Evolution and the Bible.

DEL: Where do you see all of the sudden the thought beginning to work its way in, that there is something less than historical record found in Genesis?

DOUG: Dr. Nigel Cameron, who did a book a number of years ago which unfortunately it’s out of print, Evolution and the Authority of the Bible, in which he shows convincingly to me after serious study on his part that the whole church as far as commentators and creeds on into Protestant confessions held straight six day creation, until the European enlightenment. And particularly two things happen, well many things happened in the European enlightenment but two things particular reference to creation. One is there was the introduction of the thought of vast geological ages being evidenced by geological structures. That was happening largely in the 18th Century, late 18th Century. And then in the 19th Century of course we have Charles Darwin. It was not that theories of evolution were totally novel. They weren’t, because if you go back to certain pre-socratic philosophers, Democritus, Lucretius and others, they held some kind of evolution, but that Christianity had purged that out and said it’s ridiculous and it goes way underground.

DOUG: It’s able to come back to the surface by the European enlightenment. Geology first and then with particularly Darwin and his grandfather was teaching Erasmus Darwin but Charles Darwin’s major work came out in 1859 and sold out in about two days because people were so desperate to find an intellectual alternative to divine creation. Well Cameron shows that when about five years, five or six years after Darwin’s book became popular i.e. by the late 1860s there was scarcely a protestant commentator, a protestant commentator that didn’t accept some form of evolution or at least say this is a matter best left to the scientists. Let’s deal with the spiritual.

DEL: It happened that fast.

DOUG: It happened that fast within six or seven years. Now there were exceptions. Good Bishop Wilbur Force resisted it, but that’s how quickly it happened.

I facepalmed at the last sentence “Bishop Wilbur Force”. It clearly they meant Bishop Samuel Wilberforce, son of William Wilberforce.

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Wilberfoce was competent in science and attended geological lectures by William Buckland for three years while at Oxford. His 1860 review of the Origin of Species was competent though rejecting evolution.

Kelly studied for his Ph D in Edinburgh under T F Torrance, the leading 20th century Scottish theologian, who had a sound view of science and theology!

In 1999 he published a YEC book supporting a six day creation , full of poor theology and worse science.

The quotes by Kelly here are weak. He is wrong to say theologians held to a six day creation until the Enlightenment. See my chapter here; Genesis 1 & geological time from 1600-1850 Until there was geological evidence for an ancient earth theologians took varied opinions but after 1780 few opted for a young earth. What Kelly does not say is that after 1800 very few theologians, Protestant or Catholic accepted a 6-day creation. That includes conservative protestants and evangelicals on both sides of the pond. By 1870 most accepted some kind of evolution.  This is just for Britain, the situation in the USA was similar  – at least til the Scopes trial. Evolution and religion in Britain from 1859

So lets get on with this blog  on

6 Reasons Christians Should Embrace 6 Day Creation

Watch the film

https://isgenesishistory.com/6-reasons-christians-embrace-6-day-creation/

The blog  has a clear purpose – to give 6 reasons why Christians must accept a 6-day creation.

When Is Genesis History? opened in theaters last year, we had no idea it would be the top grossing Christian documentary for 2017. We were even more surprised when our distributor said they were bringing it back to theaters on Feb 22, 2018 for an Anniversary Event.

Why did this film resonate so much with audiences?

Perhaps it demonstrated that it’s intellectually reasonable for Christians to embrace 6-day creation.

By ‘6-day creation,’ I’m referring not just to one’s view of Genesis 1, but to an entire chronology of historical events. These include the immediate creation of everything in six normal days, a Fall that brought corruption and death into the universe, and a global Flood that destroyed the world.

I recognize that among some Christians this is not a popular view of history. Instead, some have adopted the framework hypothesis, analogical days, or the cosmic-temple model to interpret Genesis 1.

They then accept the conventional chronology of universal history. This includes the slow formation of everything over billions of years starting with a Big Bang, the corruption and death of trillions of creatures before the arrival of Adam and Eve, a Fall that introduced death only to mankind, and a local flood during the days of Noah.

It is the events included in 6-day creation that are essential for Christian theology.

I realize that intelligent and godly Christians hold to this model of Earth history. Nevertheless, many seem unaware of the actual events they must inevitably adopt when affirming a 13.8 billion-year-old universe.

After all, one cannot extend history for billions of years without attaching new events to it. Those events have theological consequences.

This is why thinkers like Geerhardus Vos, Louis Berkhof, and D. Martin Lloyd-Jones embraced 6-day creation. They understood it is the events included in 6-day creation that are essential for Christian theology.

Note that included is not only a 6-day creation, but also a Fall which brought death into the world. This latter is a plank for YEC as the death of Christ is often presented as reversing the effects of the Fall, thus giving more plausibility to YEC. Note how the expression “corruption and death” is put forward in contrast to a “good2 and “very good” original creation.

Then Six theological reasons for YEC are considered.

Here are six theological reasons worth considering:

N.B. Here I give the blog in “quotes” , the rest are my comments

1. God’s Goodness Must Be Reflected in the Original Creation

Ligon Duncan observed in an interview for ‘The Gospel Coalition’ that affirming the goodness of the original creation is non-negotiable. As the Westminster Confession states, the goodness of the original creation is the manifestation of the glory of God’s own goodness. (WCF 4.1)

 

If the expression “original creation” was not used, most , if not all Christians subscribe to this. Creation,( however it came about, however old it is), “is the manifestation of the glory of God’s own goodness. (WCF 4.1)”. However the use of “original Creation” is used to imply that creation took place in a matter of 144 Hours. That most Christians disagree with.

they then ask;

What does that goodness look like? It is full of life-giving power and bounty.

I find this photo an odd one to show the earth without corruption 🙂 In fact it shows beauty and tranquillity and so much of our scenery and wildlife shows the beauty and wonder of Creation. Here are two taken from near home I quickly found at random . It is difficult to see it as “not good”. I try hard to see the corruption here.

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This is what we see in Genesis 1. God pronounces His original creation ‘good’ and ‘very good.’ It was a world of plenty and beauty without animal carnivory (Gen 1:30) and without corruption and death (Rom 8:21).

Yet this picture of an artistically-designed, beautiful world only fits within the chronology of 6-day creation.

 

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I’d be very surprised if any reader does not see this as a “picture of an artistically-designed, beautiful world”. Just look at the colours and delicacy of the plant’s structure and the exquisite tiny flowers coming into bloom. Many will recognise it as sundew (drosera rotundiflora) which is common in boggy areas. I found this ten miles from my home in a gorgeous boggy lake full of drosera and surrounded by Bog asphodel.

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Beautiful though it is, the sundew is  – er  – um -” a product of the Fall and Curse” as it is a  carnivorous plant and gains some sustainence from catching insects with those tentacles in the leaves. as well as that the boggy area is a morass of dead plants and animals in varying stages of decomposition. So if the sundew and bog asphodel are beautiful they are the result of the Fall and Curse!! This rather contradicts the claim that “this picture of an artistically-designed, beautiful world only fits within the chronology of 6-day creation”.

Further they are right to say “This is what we see in Genesis 1. God pronounces His original creation ‘good’ and ‘very good.’ It was a world of plenty and beauty …..” We see this good and very good all around us, and especially if we are tuned to see the wonder of creation in both large and small things.

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But then they say “It was a world of plenty and beauty without animal carnivory (Gen 1:30) and without corruption and death (Rom 8:21).” Well, we see a world of plenty and beauty WITH corruption and animal death. We must ask how the Fall and Curse changed creation. The photos I chose all show a world of plenty and beauty with carnivory present! Gen 1 vs 30 has to be squeezed very hard to make it affirm carnivory. I’ll deal with Romans 8 later.

If one adopts the conventional chronology, one must accept that the Earth was absent from the universe for its first 9 billion years. After a galactic cooling event, the Earth slowly formed through billions of years of uninhabitable environments. God eventually created the first complex marine life, then progressively created or evolved different types of organisms. These experienced death and massive extinction events that led to the destruction of trillions of living creatures.

All this happened long before the appearance of Adam and Eve.

I realize that some Christians may not be interested in these sorts of details. Yet anyone who chooses to accept an old universe implicitly accepts the historical events that go with it. It is a history filled with lifelessness and death, not the goodness of God.

This flight of fancy begs some questions. Yes, we have a long evolution over 13.4 billion years and during most of that there was no life – but why is that bad? To correct an error of emotive appeal, the earth was not “slowly formed through billions of years of uninhabitable environments”. Yes, earth was formed 4.6 billion years ago, but life was almost certainly there by 4 billion. There has been life ever since.  But even “lifeless creation” has beauty and wonder.

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Now this is the “lifeless” view from the present summit of Mt St Helens taken in October 2009. The foreground is “lifeless” lava and glacier! Behind the area was wiped clean of most life in May 1980, but is now regenerating.

2. Adam’s Sin Resulted in Universal Corruption and Death

According to the conventional chronology, corruption has always been a part of the universe. This can be seen in the fossil record which supposedly represents 540 million years of animal suffering and death. It provides snapshots of a world often full of thorns and thistles.

It’s a funny use of corruption, when it is used to denigrate the endless cycle if the universe changing over time. The universe has a history of stars being born and dying, but why is that corruption? The next sentence is rather inaccurate. The fossil record goes back 4 billion years, not 540 million!!

In this view, Adam’s sin could not have been the ultimate cause of universal corruption. As an historical event, his disobedience occurred long after “corruption” was present. Of course , their assertion is that the earth is young and geological and cosmological ages are wrong. But no evidence for that is given. Neither do they point out that arguments for these vast ages go back 300 years or so, so cannot be laid at the door of Darwin.

By ‘6-day creation,’ I’m referring not just to one’s view of Genesis 1, but to an entire chronology of historical events. These include the immediate creation of everything in six normal days, a Fall that brought corruption and death into the universe, and a global Flood that destroyed the world.

Where does it say the Fall brought “corruption”  to the universe. It is simply not in any version of Genesis 3. Yes, Genesis 3 speaks of thorns and thistles (vs18) but not animal death, earthquakes or anything else. They really need to show that DAY must mean 24 hours. For 2000 years Christians have varied on this and though until about 1680 most reckoned the earth to be young, a significant number did not on theological grounds as they had no scienitific evidence to guide them.

Further the popularity of their view of corruption stems from Milton’s poem Paradise Lost, rather than a theological consensus.

https://michaelroberts4004.wordpress.com/2016/02/19/why-the-apple-didnt-kill-adam-and-eve/

However animal pain and death is a problem to all who beleive in a benifient God. As Darwin asked about the Ichneumon fly and a cat playing with a mouse

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https://michaelroberts4004.wordpress.com/2015/05/06/parasitic-wasps-and-the-death-of-jesus-with-hat-tip-to-darwin/

Ultimately there is no resolution and either the Curse or “billions of years of suffering and death ” does not get God off the hook!! It is a hard thing to accept that God created a world with death and suffering, but equally hard if God introduced death and suffering because a pair of nudists went scrumping.  It is irresolvable.

Or even more starkly 

https://twitter.com/i/status/1158800625775206400

This is what Paul affirms in Romans 8:21. It is what Christian theology has always affirmed: Adam was given dominion over the entire creation at the beginning; when he sinned, the entire creation was subjected to corruption as a consequence of its unique relationship to him.

Here we have the usual appeal to Rom 8 vs21. It is the standard interpretation but not unanimous. This turns on the translation of several Greek words. The word translated creation is ktisis, which can mean humanity in both parts of the New Testament and Apostolic Fathers. Few accept that today, but it was the view of the 18th century commentator John Gill and the 17th century John Lightfoot, who dated creation to 3926BC, making him more young earth than Ussher.

https://michaelroberts4004.wordpress.com/2017/03/18/mis-reading-romans-chapter-8/

Too many “orthodox” (i.e old earth) theologians seem to go for a Fall in creation as did the commentators Sanday and Headlem and also NT Wright  in Evil and the Justice of God p 117 and p109.

There is a lack of clear thinking in this area, but it must be said that if the earth is even a few million years old, then death is of the order of creation and not due to a Fall. Creationists cash in on this lack of clarity. Perhaps I spent too long in scorching temperatures in the Namib Desert sorting out the geology !!

3. The Pattern of Creation-Fall-Redemption Culminates in the New Creation

If the universe contained death and corruption that wasn’t the result of Adam’s sin, what does that mean for Jesus’s redemption of both man and creation?

This is a superficially appealing argument, BUT it shifts the emphasis of the redemptive work of Jesus on the cross from the atonement of human sin to sorting out the mess of the Fall and Curse.

Consider His miracles: He was re-forming the world according to the goodness of the original creation. Whether Jesus was healing the sick, raising the dead, or feeding the hungry, He was showing that redemption results in tangible bounty to actual people. It is a goodness that culminates with the new creation. Passages in the Prophets and Revelation suggest a return to the space-time goodness of the original creation.

Yet it is only the chronology of 6-day creation that provides the historical framework for this pattern to have meaning.

If the original creation was not good, or if the Fall did not transform that creation into something evil, then what is the real nature of our redemption? And what is the real potential of the new creation?

For the bookends of creation to match, they must be mirrors of each other. This is only possible with 6-day creation.

This is a bit rambling.

4. Scripture Must be Used to Interpret Scripture

In the Odyssey, when Penelope wants to prove her husband’s identity, she requests he shoot an arrow through 12 axe handles placed in a row. She knows he is the only one who can do it. In the same way, although different interpretations claim to be accurate, only those which pass intact through the entirety of the Bible are true.

This is what we see with the events associated with 6-day creation: they are affirmed throughout the entire Bible.

Whether it is Moses connecting creation week with a normal week in the fourth commandment; or Isaiah affirming God created man at the same time He created the heavens and the earth; or Jesus explaining the global destruction of the Flood in light of His second coming; or Luke tracing the history of the world through a single genealogy; or Paul relating the work of Adam to the work of Christ; or Peter showing the relationship between the creation, global flood, and judgment to come, there is only one historical sequence that consistently fits: 6-day creation.

This is not what it says as it is an appeal claiming that THEIR interpretation is correct and the others wrong. To interpret Scripture one must use other parts of Scripture, but alway consider the context and genre and use extra-biblical information, especially on the cultural context.

5. Essential Doctrines are Embedded in History

Last year, I had lunch with a friend who takes a more liberal view of the Bible. As he heard what was in the film, he said, “if there really was a global flood, that changes everything.” This is similar to the line of thinking we see in Acts: if a man really rose from the dead, that changes everything.

Paul establishes the necessary connection between the events of history and Christian doctrine in 1 Corinthians 15. Peter does the same in 2 Peter 3 with creation, the flood, and the final judgment.

Yet it is only within the historical framework of 6-day creation that all these events cohere to the fabric of time.

For instance, if the thick fossil-bearing rock layers are the result of a global flood, they are a physical reminder of God’s global judgment on the earth in the past—as well as in the future.

If, however, one adopts the conventional chronology, those huge layers are merely a testimony to millions of years. God’s judgment is erased from the earth—and perhaps overlooked in the future.

This is based on an obvious assumption  and that is that the history of the New Testament is the same as early Genesis. It is hard to say they are. This overlooks so many differences. I note that they look to God’s judgement in the Flood as if this were a proof of a young earth.

6. Presuppositional Thinking Helps Us Understand the Discipline of Science

Finally, what about science itself?

When I started researching our documentary, I came across a book entitled The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn. Although there is much that could be said about Kuhn, his method is easy for philosophically-minded Christians to grasp: he applies presuppositional thinking to the discipline of science.

Anyone who has read Christian philosopher Cornelius Van Til can see the similarities between them:

Both point out that data is not “value-neutral,” but that people bring a ‘set of glasses’ toward the interpretation of the world around them. Both recognize the intense commitment people have toward certain views to the exclusion of all others. Both note that groups consistently interpret what they observe in light of their base presuppositions.

Night Sky

Now what makes Kuhn interesting is that he explores the history of science in light of this thinking. The result is that he effectively questions the absolute epistemological authority of modern science.

This is a total misreading of Kuhn. He argued that accumulated evidence changes the “paradigm” of scientists  eg geocentricity to heliocentricity. It was not a case of changing “presuppositions”. It can also be done on geological time and evolution (though Kuhn did this v badly), plate tectonics etc. People did not change their views on geological time due to changing presuppositions, but accumulated evidence gleaned from a methodologically naturalistic perspective. Thus scientists gradually changed their views on the age of the earth, from a few thousand in 1660 to millions in 1800 to billions by 1910. It is often overlooked that many of these geologists were Christians.

Having read both Van Til and Kuhn I cannot see the similarities, though I have to admit I’m a fan of neither!

 

In Closing

I regret the abbreviated nature of these thoughts. They are only a few of the many I arrived at during my three year process researching this film. I have explored them at greater depth in the Is Genesis History? Bible Study that accompanies the film.

In closing, it is my strongest conviction as a Christian that 6-day creation is the only longterm viable option for Christian theology. As D. Martin Lloyd-Jones said, “I have no gospel unless Genesis is history.”

They have not made their case!! To claim Genesis is history as we know it today is to make the Gospel incredible and thus no gospel.

Michael’s Conclusion; is Genesis History?

In the normal sense NO and it does not claim to be. To ask this question and to put it in a way that you must answer YES is to misunderstand early Genesis and the rest of the Bible.

It stems from the view that the bible is written in the same way from Genesis to Revelation and all is equally “history”. The Bible is variable on history. When we study the Gospels and Acts we find that is akin to our historcal understanding today and that of its time. It can stand alongside Caesar’s Gallic Wars as a narrative account. This, in itself, does not mean it is accurate history and Caesar was prone to massaging the facts for his own purposes. Opinions vary on the historical reliability of the New Testament, but I am persuaded that it is reliable history, and to some I take a hopelessly conservative position.

Once we consider the Old Testament things change. and its historicity and reliability  becomes less the earlier the events are. From Saul onwards i.e. after c1000BC the account fits with other contemporary accounts. But this is far less so for the Exodus and conquest, though some link it to contemporary events. For the Patriarchs – Abraham, Jacob and Joseph, the sitz-im-leben is the early Second Millenium, but there is no supporting evidence. Hence some say the Patriarchs are non- historical figures. I disagree there.

And so we come to Genesis 1 to 11, the substance of these films and blog. It is fair to say they were seen as history until the 18th century, but discoveries of an ancient earth – both geological and anthropological challenged that.

Most important is to see the historicity of Jesus Christ and not a pair of anti-diluvian nudists.

I reckon G M Hopkins gives us a better way to consider Genesis

https://michaelroberts4004.wordpress.com/2014/08/26/gods-grandeur-gerard-manley-hopkins/

How insane is Ken Ham’s Creation Museum

An amusing and  poll on how daft it really is

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However Darwin wasn’t daft

https://www.ranker.com/list/unbelievable-creation-museum-attractions/cheryl-adams-richkoff?ref=browse_list&fbclid=IwAR0G87kKq_paWD4Y912iu7lZ50hNwJ0dBZDFMy6aGrf8S94-xIrCFWG9Vx0

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The Most Unbelievable Attractions At The Creation Museum

 

Cheryl Adams Richkoff

7.5k votes1.5k voters74.9k views12 items

List RulesVote up the most insane things that the Creation Museum teaches.

Located in rural Kentucky is a most interesting and controversial museum called the Creation Museum. It was founded by Young Earth supporter and Evangelical minister Ken Hamm. If you’ve ever visited a natural history museum, you’ll find the Creation Museum quite different from that experience – in fact, you’ll see the some of the most unbelievable attractions at the Creation Museum. The museum is designed to encourage the Evangelical faithful to accept the Bible in the most literal sense without involving science, as a majority of Christian institutions do not support the notable creationist beliefs.

Creationists use the museum both explicitly and implicitly as a medium to try to convert and convince those who believe in the theory of evolution. It is one of the best museums in the world to visit, as it is guaranteed to shock you, make you laugh, or even upset you. Take a look below and vote up the craziest things the museum displays as truth, from how the Earth was formed to how dinosaurs were man’s best friend.

1775 VOTES
Kangaroos Reached Australia During The Flood By Hanging On To Floating Trees
Kangaroos Reached Australia Du... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Unbelievable Attractions At The Creation Museum
Photo:  PanBK/Wikimedia Commons

Another hard question put to the Creation Museum by academic scientists has to do with the animals presently residing in the Southern Hemisphere. How did animals such as the kangaroo make it to Australia after the flood (since the Ark came to rest on a mountain top in the Middle East)? The answer is simple, according to the Creation Museum. Isn’t it obvious? During the Flood, Mr. and Mrs. Kangaroo jumped ship, grabbed hold of some floating trees, and rode the waves right down under to Australia. Seems legit.

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Is this insane?

2950 VOTES
Velociraptors Were Cuddly Vegetarians Before Original Sin
Velociraptors Were Cuddly Vege... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Unbelievable Attractions At The Creation Museum
Photo:  David Berkowitz/Flickr

One of the first things visitors see upon entering the Creation Museum is an exhibit of a happy, prehistorical child playing next to a velociraptor dinosaur. In traditional science, the fossil record clearly points to such dinosaurs as not only predatory meat-eaters, but also as predators of a particularly vicious nature that were built for strength and speed.

However, according to the Creation Museum, this is not the case. Prior to the Edenic “Fall” of the first humans (Adam and Eve), dinosaurs were cute and cuddly vegetarians. Even the raptors. Thus, they were the perfect pet for children. Then along came that apple and original sin, which ruined everything.

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Is this insane?

3913 VOTES
The Earth Is Only 6,000 Years Old
The Earth Is Only 6,000 Years ... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Unbelievable Attractions At The Creation Museum
Photo: NASA/Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

According to the Creation Museum and a number of Christian Evangelicals, planet Earth and the rest of the universe are actually only about 6,000 years old. They make this claim based on verses from the Christian Bible. There is even a philosophical school of thought called “Young Earth.” Again, supporters of that school dismiss carbon dating and actual historical evidence of human civilizations in existence prior to 4,000 BCE. The museum claims that each year, more professional paleontologists join their numbers in supporting the Young Earth theory.

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Is this insane?

4810 VOTES
Humans And Dinosaurs Lived Happily Together
Humans And Dinosaurs Lived Hap... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Unbelievable Attractions At The Creation Museum
Photo:  Acdixon/Wikimedia Commons

According to Creation Museum director and founder Ken Hamm, dinosaurs and people co-existed happily. He claims that fossil records and carbon dating present poor evidence to support that dinosaurs lived and became extinct long before homo sapiens ruled the Earth. The museum features a number of exhibits showing humans and dinosaurs getting along quite well, cooperating together at work and at home. Some displays even show dinosaurs with saddles and riders.

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Is this insane?

5681 VOTES
10 people have voted onTeaching Science Has Pretty Much Turned The World Into A Hell Hole
Teaching Science Has Pretty Mu is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Unbelievable Attractions At The Creation Museum
Photo: FlyDime/Wikimedia Commons

Not all the exhibits at the Creation Museum are about how the world came into existence and how humans became best friends with dinosaurs. There is a series of exhibits that show the aftermath of the fall of Eden. To see them, a visitor must go through a tunnel that leads to a variety of frightening, hellish experiences.

According to creationists, after the fall in the Garden of Eden, mankind descended into every sort of vice, sin, and degradation because humans disobeyed God. The only way to return to a state of peace and happiness is to believe the word of God literally.

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Is this insane?

6565 VOTES
30 people have voted onEarth’s Entire Paleontology Record Comes From Noah’s Flood Sediment
Earth's Entire Paleontology Re is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Unbelievable Attractions At The Creation Museum
Photo: Daniel Tuttle/Flickr

Since the claim that the Earth is only 6,000 years old is supported by the Creation Museum, the staff have to provide some sort of evidence for the enormous, deep fossil record that is found all over the world. Creationists turn to the Bible and argue that all the sediment that created the innumerable fossils of innumerable creatures did not build up over many millennia; no, the sediment from Noah’s flood created ample layers to account for the extensive record.

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Is this insane?

7469 VOTES
35 people have voted onEvolution Is Nonsense, So Why Not Make A Make-Believe Ape-Man?
Evolution Is Nonsense, So Why  is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Unbelievable Attractions At The Creation Museum
Photo: Tim Evanson/Flickr

The Creation Museum is not just for the serious theologian. There are fun classes designed for children to learn more about the legitimacy of creationism and the silliness of evolution. For example, one may enroll in a class where the learning activity is making an “Ape-Man,” a fantastical being that is supposed to scorn the scientific theory of human evolution. Apparently, the fact that evolutionists do not subscribe to the idea of an “Ape-Man” is not discussed in class.

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Is this insane?

8500 VOTES
37 people have voted onThere’s An Epic Darwin Take-Down Room, Silly Evolutionists
There's An Epic Darwin Take-Do is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Unbelievable Attractions At The Creation Museum
Photo: The Hornet Magazine/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

The Theory of Evolution is pretty compelling, right? How else do you explain a phenomenon like Darwin’s finches, the Galapagos finches who, despite being part of the same genus, developed beak features to match the food available on the specific island where they lived? Easy! By accepting natural selection but not evolution. Here’s the thing:

“God created “every winged bird according to its kind” (Genesis 1:21). So, for example, fluctuations in the populations of finches and finch speciation occurs as a response to different environments. But after all, finches still remain finches.”

Boom! In the “Natural Selection vs. Evolution” exhibit, creationist scientists have put together a pretty strong exhibit making the case for natural selection, “a present, observable process that is supported biblically and scientifically.” Nothing proves evolution, on the other hand, because, after all nothing has “the ability to create new genetic information required for molecules-to-man evolution.” Except God, of course, and that is not at all what the Bible says he did.

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Is this insane?

9641 VOTES
13 people have voted onGod Ordered Predatory Animals On The Ark To Behave
God Ordered Predatory Animals  is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Unbelievable Attractions At The Creation Museum
Photo: Charles Willson Peale/Wikimedia Commons

Naturally, the Creation Museum is often faced with hard questions from scientists, scholars, visitors, and even theologians. One of the questions that comes up the most has to do with the story of Noah’s Ark, when, according to the Old Testament, God flooded the Earth, killing all humans and animals except for one man, his extended family, and one pair of male and female animals from each species.

The question specifically addresses how dinosaurs and other predatory animals were prevented from attacking and killing the other animals aboard. The Creation Museum’s response is simple: if God could create and then flood the world, it is no problem for him to order the predatory animals to behave themselves during the Ark journey. While this answer defies all logic, it makes sense to religious believers.

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Is this insane?

10381 VOTES
10 people have voted onThere Is An Animatronic Scientist – Probably Because They Can’t Find Any Real Ones
There Is An Animatronic Scient is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Unbelievable Attractions At The Creation Museum
Photo: Robin Zebrowski/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

In Dr. Crawley’s Insectorium, visitors have the chance to meet Dr. Arthur Podd, who can answer all of their questions about the insects showcased in the collection. Even more exciting? Dr. Podd is a robot! Yes, a robot scientist answers your questions about a scientific exhibit. Where are all of those creationist scientists when you need them? Over in the evolution rooms railing against Darwin, perhaps?

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Is this insane?

11526 VOTES
44 people have voted onDragons And Dinosaurs Are Essentially The Same
Dragons And Dinosaurs Are Esse is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Unbelievable Attractions At The Creation Museum
Photo: Chris Light/Wikimedia Commons

Human history is replete with stories, legends, and images of the fantastical creature known as the dragon. From St. George to Game of Thrones, who can resist the lure of the fire-breathing, scaly, wondrous, flying beasts? The Creation Museum, for one, cannot resist. Their website maintains that the long and oft-told tales of dragons are completely true, since dragons were a type of dinosaur. The museum even boasts a story from a 19th-century newspaper claiming that a Wild West cowboy had an encounter with a dragon in the desert.

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Is this insane?

12386 VOTES
19 people have voted onCheck Out How The Night Sky ‘Confirms God’s Word In Genesis!’
Check Out How The Night Sky 'C is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Unbelievable Attractions At The Creation Museum
Photo: Rachel Hanes/Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

For many people, gazing up into the cosmos at night can be an existentially overwhelming practice – it’s so vast, and we’re so small. What else is out there? For folks visiting the Creation Museum, the Stargazer’s Planetarium provides an awesome chance to look up at the stars and “travel anywhere in the universe,” especially the places in the “night sky [that confirm] God’s Word in Genesis.” And, if you can’t see them for yourself, there are “scientists and astronomers” on hand who can “affirm” them for you. How helpful!

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Is this insane?

Filed Under: Polls MuseumsWeirdWeirdly Interesting

Is Genesis really poetry?

One of the many creationist groups is Biblical Creation & Apologetics Ministries, which has a facebook group which mostly reprints articles from Creation ministries and answers in Genesis. Unlike many they do allow heretics like me to post on their page !!

You can read them here

https://www.facebook.com/pg/BiblicalCreation/about/?ref=page_internal

One of their latest (27/7/19)  is on whether Genesis is poetry. This question polarises conclusions to either being poetry and thus not true , or not poetry and true. This is slick and unconvincing to many, but good for the faithful.

https://www.facebook.com/BiblicalCreation/photos/a.207326895983895/2250443738338857/?type=3&theater

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Biblical Authority: Is Genesis Poetry?

The idea that ‘Genesis doesn’t tell us how God created’ is one of those vague half-truths that fails to address the specifics of either the passage or the issue that the statement is trying to comment on. To be precise, we want to know whether Genesis contradicts the prevailing ‘billions of years’ framework for the history of nature. For that, we need to know: what does Genesis 1 tell us about the history of nature, if it tells us anything? There are good reasons to think Genesis 1 does indeed refer to the past (see Genesis as ancient historical narrative [http://bit.ly/2ydR7KM]). And there are several crucial historical questions Genesis 1 does answer.

1. Who created? God.

2. What did God create? The heavens and earth in their vast array.

3. By what means did God create? He spoke, and things came to be.

4. How long did God take to create? Six days (e.g. Exodus 20:8–11).

5. When did God create? At the beginning (with no prior beginning for any class of creature explicitly mentioned in Genesis 1, which includes the earth, the sky, all forms of animals and plants, and all stars).

https://creation.com/genesis-not-poetic

And here in slow motion dealing with each point

 

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Biblical Authority: Is Genesis Poetry?

The idea that ‘Genesis doesn’t tell us how God created’ is one of those vague half-truths that fails to address the specifics of either the passage or the issue that the statement is trying to comment on. To be precise, we want to know whether Genesis contradicts the prevailing ‘billions of years’ framework for the history of nature. For that, we need to know: what does Genesis 1 tell us about the history of nature, if it tells us anything? There are good reasons to think Genesis 1 does indeed refer to the past (see Genesis as ancient historical narrative [http://bit.ly/2ydR7KM]). And there are several crucial historical questions Genesis 1 does answer.

1. Who created? God. My answer

Absolutely. This is fundamental to any theist. We may be baffled at who God is – and I am – but God is creator of all

I go further and insist on creatio ex nihilo – creation from nothing

Perhaps it is best summed up in William Temple’s equations

God- world = God

World – god = 0

You can follow this up in most Christian writers of creation

2. What did God create? The heavens and earth in their vast array. My answer

Yup, the whole lot.

But now we diverge.

3. By what means did God create? He spoke, and things came to be. My answer

Genesis and the rest of the Bible affirms that God is creator but doesn’t say how. Whichever passage you turn too in the old or New Testament, there is AFFIRMATION of god as creator, often in poeticised form, but never  a description of how God created.

To say “He spoke, and things came to be.” is a paraphrase of the refrain in genesis One and says nothing about how god did it. At worst it is parroting meaninglessness.

Calvin

calvin

in his commentary on Genesis in the 1550s realised this ( as did and do all intelligent Christian writers) when he wrote

He who would understand astronomy and other recondite arts let him go elsewhere.

For 2000 years theologians have grappled with this question and their conclusions are usually reflect the science of their day.  To my knowledge none say how God did it.

Perhaps they should have considered aspects like the nature of the firmament and the problem of Day 4

storehouse-300x165

 

He spoke, and things came to be. is simply a cheap rhetorical advice designed to convince/browbeat those of little understanding

4. How long did God take to create? Six days (e.g. Exodus 20:8–11). My answer

That is a simple answer to a complex question. We can approach it in three ways;

  1. we can look at genesis in a simple way without reference to anything else and say “ah, it is 144 Hours.”
  2. We can start from modern science with a 13 billion year old universe and the rest and say “science says this and thus Genesis is wrong and has no value.”
  3. Or we can consider how Christian theologians have considered the time factor of Creation over the last 2000 years AND consider the developing scientific understanding over the last 3000 years.

5. When did God create? At the beginning (with no prior beginning for any class of creature explicitly mentioned in Genesis 1, which includes the earth, the sky, all forms of animals and plants, and all stars). My answer

Of course god created at the beginning!!! The question which has baffled theologians and scientists for 2000 years is WHEN.

Until the 17th century there was no scientific evidence on the age of the earth or universe. Even so Christian scholars varied on the when of Creation. Many from Barnabas and Theophilus until Ussher went for a few thousand years ago, with Ussher an his immortal 4004BC.

They saw Genesis one in a variety of ways, some took each day as 24 hours, others say God created chaos first and then later ordered the chaos (e.g. Prudentius in the 4th century.)

Things began to change in the 1680s and credit goes to Edward Lhwyd for his observations of “fallen” blocks below Snowdon in Nant Peris. As only one had fallen in living memory and there were hundreds, he concluded that the earth might be a lot older.soon others found more evidence.By 1800 few educated people and fewer “scientists” thought the earth wasn’t ancient, though opinions were divided whether it was millions or a few hundred thousand!

Geology exploded after 1800 and Anglican clergy, like Buckland,

bucklandWilliam Smith's A Delineation of the Strata of England and Wales with part of Scotland (1815)

Conybeare and Sedgwick made major contributions. When Darwin went to Wales with Sedgwick in 1831 few accepted Ussher’s date.

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However the actual dates were impossible and various rough guesses were made from 20 million to several billion. That gordion knot was untied with the advent of radiometric age dating in 1907 and since 1946 the age of the earth has been known to be 4.6 billion.

 

These published papers of mine deal with aspects of this

https://michaelroberts4004.wordpress.com/2018/09/26/does-geology-destroy-god-genesis-and-geologyseven-papers/

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Astronomers were slower! By 1800 they knew the earth had to be millions beca=use of the distance of some stars being 2  million light years away. More came with Fr le Maitre’s ideas of the 1920s which led to the concept of a Big Bang, which superceded steady state understandings after controversies fuelled by Fred Hoyle.

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Even so the date of the formation of the universe was in question with dates between 8 and 20 billion years but by 2000 this had settled to 13.4 billion. If you wish for more on this yopu will need to follow it up elsewhere.

Yet all this science is rejected by creationists. Surely ALL geologists and cosmologists can’t be wrong!!!!

SH16DARWIN2

Is Genesis poetry? my answer

An answer-begging question with the implication that Genesis will loses its value if it is poetic. It would be correct to say that early Genesis is NOT poetic, but contains aspects of poetry in chap 1 and various imagery and old Ancient Near Eastern ideas to convey what the author intended. Psalm 8 and the end of Job are clearly poetic in the way they deal with creation. That does not make them untrue.

One of the best evocations of God as creator is the poem God’s Grandeur  by G M Hopkins. Through his poetry he brings out the Christian understanding of Creation

https://michaelroberts4004.wordpress.com/2014/08/26/gods-grandeur-gerard-manley-hopkins/

Yes, Genesis has a narrative style, but that does not mean it is historical. Scholars have discussed this for centuries. Few, if any, scholars of repute reckon it gives a historical account and see it more as a statement of faith in a creator written from the culture of the writer, rather than giving historical and scientific evidence. It is a ringing affirmation that God is the Creator. Again so much has been written on this by Christians from the perspective of catholic, Evangelical or more liberal. visting the sites of the american Science Affiliation, Biologos, Faraday Institute or Christians in Science give many good articles.

 

But with a refrain at the end of each day, genesis one has a poetical slant

 So God made the ….. And it was so.
 God called the ……………… And there was evening and there was morning, the  nth day. 

 

 

 

Does Science confirm the Bible?

I don’t know which annoys me more; those fundamentalists who claim that Science has confirmed the Bible or the village atheist who says science has disproved the Bible.

Both are based on misunderstandings of science and the Bible.  The various 66 books of the Bible ( and more if you add the Apocrypha, and even more if you go for he Ethiopian canon) were written over a period of a good one thousand years and reflect the thought forms of the writer’s day. Hence you will not find any modern science in them, though they may reflect the science of the day and that would included a flat earth for the Old Testament, and maybe a spherical earth in the New. Classification of animals was hardly rigorous with bats seen as birds, which is a good folk description.

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Far too many , and especially ultra-conservative Christians, still use the old Authorised Version of 1611  aka King James Version, which suffers from questionable translations. Also the splitting up of the text into individual verses makes one read verses in an atomised way and not consider what style of writing that passage is. We read different writings according to their genre whether poetry, parable, letters, hymns and poetry, moral teaching and narrative. We also need to be aware of imagery. Further Biblical writers do not write history as historians write today and have a different appraoch to exact accuracy . Further like Herodotus they may write speeches as they thought they would have been given.

Above all, we cannot project today’s understanding of science back on to works of 2000 or 3000 years old, neither should we for Shakespeare.

To sum it up, both these memes depend on a misunderstanding of the Bible and a lack of awareness that scientific questions were irrelvant to those writers, who simply reflected understandings of their day.

That is why these memes, which may have appeal for some, are totally worthless in gaining understanding

Augsutine

So much for St Augustine but;

Caution Creationists3

Here you are ;

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  1. Dear old Isaiah’s spherical earth!! Actually the word chug in the Hebrew means a disc not a sphere, but some insist on mis-translating it.

Before 500BC most thought the earth was flat and the Greeks found it that the earth is a sphere.

As I dealt with this before then read this!!

https://michaelroberts4004.wordpress.com/2018/08/05/the-bible-and-a-flat-earth/

2. What about innumerable stars?  Well, astronomers/astrologers of 2000 -3000 years ago had no telescopes so used the naked eye and thus “missed” many stars.

As for the quote from Jeremiah it is a rhetorical or poetic statement, not an astronomical one. This shows a poor grasp of the nature of the Bible and this quotation and no awareness of the history of science.

3. So mother earth had mounted a large animal 🙂  That is a parody on one, and only one, ANE view that the earth  was on the back of a giant turtle. It’s easy to mock ideas from 3000 years ago, but Young earth Creationism , conspiracy theories today are more daft and less forgivable.

As for Job 26  vs 7 “and hangs the earth upon nothing” is NOT a scienti8fic description but simply a poetic way of evoking wonder.

4. Here we have the Atomic Theory in the Letter to the Hebrews. (ch11 vs1) This is simply a gross misreading as the writer (Priscilla?)  is introducing a long list of Old Testament heroes of faith. One would need to have a perverse and weird mind to even suggest  she might be writing about science

5. This is just silly. 2000 years ago astronomer was in its infancy and it was slowly changing. Even so despite “wrong” ideas they were remarkably accurate in measurements and predictions. As for Paul in I Cor 15 he was reflecting the views of his day . Previously in verse 37 he was wrong to say a seed dies, before it can come to life. We know how we can KILL seeds so they can’t germinate!

6. Light moves? Where is the evidence that some say light stayed in one place, which is reasonable from common sense observation. As for Job 38 vs 19-20, this is written in poetic style not as a scientific treatise!

7. Actually Job 28 vs 25 says wind has weight. When you are buffetted by wind it definitely feels heavy, especially if you are blown over.

8. How anyone can get cyclones out of Eccles 1 vs 6 is daft. Some people need to get a poetic imagination and not force their presuppositions onto all they read

9. blood is the source of life and health ? This is not what Lev 17 vs11 actually says.  “For the life of the flesh is blood” What about animals who do not have blood. Agian modern science does not say this.

10. Again this is blind to poetry. Facepalm

11. Ocean springs in Job! Again fails to see poetry. Also until people could test undersea no springs etc could be visible.

12. Washing hands in running water? NRSV says fresh not running water – whatever fresh water is! When you read the whole of Leviticus 13 there is far more to say.

The mind boggles at the mindset suggesting this one.

Now we may think of bullshit

Fourth Law

But atheists can produce as much.

And now for the Village Atheists

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  1. back to Is 40 and the disc vs sphere. See my comment and blog cited earlier.
  2. Even Calvin wanted to interpret firmament as sky, but it was a solid dome

Ancient-Hebrew-view-of-universe

When Genesis was written – say 1000BC most in ANE held to a flat earth and solid firmament.

3. Balaam’s ass raises issue for the more conservative and not directly related to geology astronomy etc. The question is whether this “miracle” was literal or else perceived as a chatty ass!

4. Probably moving mountains was a figure of speech even to Jesus. To make out what is done here is more desperate than any creationist argument.

5. A long life of 900 years. Except for the more conservative, early Genesis is seen as not very historical except in its core.

6. Cattle breeding by patriarchs is again the style of writning and not a scientific description

7. Keeping women quiet. I Tim 2 Yes a lynch-pin for keeping women out of ministry and this does not tie in with naughty Priscilla in Acts 18 vs 26 when she and Aquila taught others who are unspecified. It’s nothing to do with science!

8. Slavery was common everywhere until recently and the Old Testament reflects this. As much as Exod 21 is ghastly on slavery it does show a more compassionate view than surrounding cultures. But then Christians look to the New Testament for ethics and not the details of the old Testament. Again nothing to with science

9. stoning bad children to death was a common pactice in the Old Testament and long since rejected  ; i.e. before Jesus , though it remains in some religions. Again nothing to do with science

Well this village atheist was so short of examples that only 6 out of 9 refer to science!!

Oh dear, which is worse?

Stranger Things–Creationist’ Views of Speciation and Natural Selection in the 1980s

A great blog on the absurdity of the way creationists tried to deal with speciation in the 1980s, especially in “Christian” biology textbooks

Naturalis Historia

Today, young-earth creationists are actively promoting a new model of the origin of the diversity of life on Earth.  This speculative view borrows a number of elements found in any typical evolutionary biology textbook. For example, modern YECs claim that most and possibly all species alive today—except humans—are related to numerous other, though not all, species via common ancestors though they seldom use such language. They further claim that the act of speciation from those common ancestors has occurred via observable and testable evolutionary mechanisms such as genetic drift and natural selection (again, usually without using words like “evolutionary”). For example, they believe that all canine species shared a common ancestor less than 4500 years ago. Likewise they claim that chimpanzees, orangutans and gorillas also shared a common ancestor.  If that sounds like a radical evolutionary proposal, it is! And it is a wave of new creationists that are making…

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Moses, creation and science

This sums up the absurdity of Creationism trying to show modern science is found in Genesis

or this?

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science meets faith

Eric Hatfield provides a humorous interpretation of God trying to teach creation to Moses:

Scene: The Sinai Desert, 1400 BCE. Two unshaven and dust-covered men are sitting around a campfire.

Moses: Hey Aaron, how do you spell “quark” in Hebrew?
Aaron: No idea. What do you want to know that for?
Moses: It’s Yahweh again. Keeps telling me all this strange stuff about strangeness and charm and spin, and quarks and gravitons and dark matter. I don’t mind not understanding, but I need to know how to write this stuff down.
Aaron: Tell him we’re just stone-age goat-herders living a subsistence existence, and you’re the only one who can read and write. Ask Him for something simpler, like why does the sun rise every morning?

Moses goes away up Mt Sinai, and returns 3 days later.

Moses: He says the sun doesn’t rise in…

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Working for Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis

This is a worrying account of someone who worked for Ken Ham for Answers in Genesis

I make no comment and let Ella speak for herself. I have lifted her facebook article.

I am not impressed but have great respect for Ella. Sadly it does not surprise me

At times Christians are far better at doing the work of the devil than that of Jesus Christ – and it is not limited to Creationists

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fff

https://www.facebook.com/ariella.duran.7/posts/2456808194546948

 

To those who know me and love me,

An open letter on the harm that I received since 2015 from Answers in Genesis and other entities, having biblically attempted to resolve what happened to me by following both Matthew 18 and any protocols necessary for proper reconciliation.

My purpose in writing this is that SILENCE PROLONGS ABUSE, and I can no longer be silent. “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke

Before I continue to say what happened, I will emphasize how I’ve attempted to biblically address Answers in Genesis:

During my time at AiG, I worked as hard as possible so that when the time came for me to speak, I would have proven my diligence and willingness to work in whatever way was needed. I originally believed that Ken Ham DID NOT know the toxic nature of AiG, but during my employment I discovered that the toxic culture of AiG goes all the way to Ken, and there is no intention of changing the burnout and bullying culture that is AiG – Ken is in fact an active part of it. After leaving AiG, I had the opportunity to speak to some board members about the state of AiG, and I did so in an objective manner that identified the necessary changes from a business standpoint, without bringing my individual pain into it. Greater and more knowledgeable people than myself have also made attempts to voice the same concerns at AiG, and suddenly left under mysterious circumstances. Quite some time has passed, and I know for a fact that nothing has changed. Google “answers in genesis workplace reviews” or talk to people still employed there, asking for an honest answer and not just “it’s great”.

Herein begins a summary of my life since 2015.

In 2015 I moved away from Northern Michigan to work at the Christian organization Answers in Genesis. During my nearly 2.25 years of employment, I worked in or with every single existing department, starting in Guest Services as Museum Host and over 9 months becoming competent in all five departments associated with that position, then moving to Point of Sale for 8 months (during which time the Ark was opened), then moving to Human Resources for 11 months.

During my time there I witnessed rank partiality and favoritism, nepotism, inconsistent or non-existent communication, bullying, and spiritual abuse – as in, guilt is used as a motivator because AiG is “doing the Lord’s work, and who are you to stand in the way of that?” When people proactively try to speak up to change the culture and pace for the better, staff meetings emphasizing “submission to authority” ensue or, in some cases, people are pushed/bullied out of the organization.

Lest you say “that’s just businesses everywhere these days”, AiG has set itself up as a pillar of Christianity, and as such, is held to a higher standard. It claims to stand on the authority of God’s Word, yet the leadership fails to treat people with basic Christian values, unless you are part of the echo chamber. If you conform to AiG, then you probably really enjoy your job besides the workload. The leadership lacks accountability and abuses its authority, effectively making said echo chamber.

Ken has built his legacy on the bones of employees he has knowingly driven into the ground. If you were to make an illustration of it, it would look similar to Dan Lietha’s “Garden of Eden on Skeletons” cartoon.

AiG overextends itself in every department, or attempts to do so unless lower management staunchly holds back the higher-ups’ demands, yet AiG is chronically short-staffed, leading to people sacrificing a work-life balance while being paid ministry pay, notoriously much lower than the value of equivalent jobs in other companies. People need either time or money in return for employment, and those who come to AiG knowing they will be on lower pay are usually under such high work expectations that many continue to work while scheduled to be off (e.g. weekends, holidays) or on vacation, instead of focusing on their families or regular lives. The turnover rate is astronomical, which they really can’t afford considering that people who agree with their statement of faith are already a niche group. It’s also an expectation to immediately respond to anything considered “urgent”, often forcing people to prioritize AiG over the needs of the employee, their family, and/or their church. AiG lauds itself as a family-oriented organization, yet that doesn’t seem to apply to those actually employed by AiG, especially those working at the Attractions who are required to work Sundays – which is an issue in itself. If AiG truly trusts God to bring people to salvation, there should be no reason for AiG to be open on Sundays, which would allow the employees to rest and be strengthened by their communities and families, and be active in their churches.

Ken Ham wrote a book “Already Gone” about young people leaving the churches, but the irony is, HE is the reason his employees are already gone from their own churches.

The “work of the Lord” has become greater than the Lord of the work.

My first role, beginning in August 2015, was as a Museum Host which worked in five departments – Guest Services (including Admissions, working the ticketing counter), Petting Zoo, Housekeeping, Retail, and Food Services. I learned each department quickly and was flexible enough to work in any one of them. My capability led to me being asked to serve as Temporary Floor Coordinator over the entire Creation Museum Guest Services on two separate occasions, even though other people had worked there longer and knew more than I. It was while working as a Museum Host that I began to identify the organizational silos, bullying, mismanagement and partiality.

The second department in which I worked, Point of Sale (POS) was created only months before the Ark opened, and it consisted of only three people including myself who, during the 40 Days & 40 Nights extended hours when the Ark first opened, needed to cover a 12 hour day at the Museum and an 18 hour day at the Ark. We were working roughly 65-80 hours a week, on salary. The artists and fabricators, among many others, were required to work those kinds of hours for weeks and months longer than we were, so it was a lot of salary abuse.

The obvious question is, why does anyone stay?

Because you love your team, and you have hope that things will change, and you believe in the mission of AiG, and some opportunities are genuinely really cool. So you tough it out another day, which becomes a week, which becomes months and years. This also means that many ex-employees who have been hurt and/or burned out by AiG remain silent out of respect for what AiG produces, and/or out of fear of appearing to have “sour grapes”. There is also a fear that they will be thrown under the bus, like AiG did to the young man in the Oklahoma University incident.

It’s more important that AiG maintain its facade than value people in a godly manner. Unfortunately, AiG is not interested in changing.

The first seventeen months in Kentucky, I lived with a woman who turned out to be emotionally abusive, and I don’t say that lightly. She was passive aggressive, controlling, manipulative, critical, and unkind, except when it pleased her not to be, like when company came over, or we were at church. She verbally tore me down and also put down and criticized my family, but then would put money in the last entries in my journal (which means she was reading it). There’s a subtle method of abuse called “gaslighting” where a controlling person constantly invalidates the other person, saying “you didn’t say that/do that” “you didn’t understand me” “I didn’t mean it, you took it wrong” sort of things, which creates mind games in order to keep the other person confused and “controlled”. I was constantly walking on eggshells because I didn’t know whether to expect niceness or her to go off on me. She justified her behavior by saying “you have to submit to me because when you’re married you’ll have to submit to a husband this way.” Not only is that scripture taken out of context, but more importantly husbands are commanded to love their wives as Christ loved the Church – Jesus DIED for the Church – and didn’t use His authority to abuse or control or manipulate.

I went through two separate rounds of Biblical counseling in order to step away from the damage that was done by her and another entity I’ll mention in a moment, and I tried to talk to her many times about what she did, but to no avail. This includes a few months ago reaching out to one of my biblical counselors to see if I had to try to reconcile any more, since that woman I had lived with is currently the head of children’s ministry at Grace Fellowship Church in Union, KY. I didn’t receive a conclusive response.

Because of her, and the long hours at work, in 2016 I began sleeping in my SUV at the Ark property, or spending the night in the Creation Museum basement (the now-demolished Last Adam theater), or sleeping at a friend’s house near work. Due to the long hours and lack of finances (salary, no overtime pay) I was unable to look for new housing nor could I have afforded the usual down payment required for an apartment. Also, NKY is known for drug and sex trafficking so I didn’t find it wise to grocery shop in the wee morning hours while exhausted, since I would get off at midnight or later. I couldn’t ask friends for help because they were almost as burnt out as I was, since they too were participating in 40 Days/40 Nights.

Also, being new to the area, I had attended Truth Community Church in Milford, OH, on the word of acquaintances at work. It turned out later that Tcomm (as it’s known) is actually considered a cult because of how it treats people. Not knowing this at the time, I accepted it at face value and began listening to discern whether I would remain there. The pastor’s family invited me into their lives, and the oldest daughter seemed to befriend me. However, when it became clear that I differed theologically (having just stepped away from my hometown and family, I was officially figuring out what I believed and making my faith my own) they began to push me out of the church. I thought the oldest daughter was genuinely my friend, so I took her out for coffee to ask what was wrong. She told me that she believed I was a manipulative, divisive, grace abusing liar. To say I was deeply hurt is putting it mildly. It turned out she was partly motivated by jealousy since she wanted the man I was dating at the time.

I left that church to attend another one, but during 40 Days/40 Nights we had to be at work often before noon, leaving very little time for church on Sundays, and Tcomm was consistently expository so I attempted to go there during those strenuous weeks/months. I gave the benefit of the doubt that the pastor’s daughter was acting out of jealousy and that her behavior was not condoned by her parents, so I asked to speak to them (since the daughter had now publicly shunned me). I met with the pastor’s wife at the Chipotle on Mall Rd, where she proceeded to treat me as an already-condemned criminal, not interested in my side of the story. They had conflated such things as me saying “I hate purple” and then wearing a purple shirtdress, as me lying. Those were the kind of claims against me. The pastor’s wife told me the elders would “come to a decision” about me. After the meeting I wanted to throw up because of the lack of kindness and empathy. This is while living with the abusive woman, being horribly homesick, being quite hungry most of the time from overwork, and working 65-80 hours a week.

My family back in Michigan, whom I’m very close with, was in the middle of an intense season wrapping up building some houses, so it was difficult for me to communicate what was going on. I was incredibly homesick but if I had left during 40 Days/40 Nights and the period of time directly afterward, the already insane workload would’ve increased exponentially on my two coworkers. I wanted to “get through the worst of it” to support them. Unfortunately at AiG, “the worst of it” is often just a small step up from what is considered “normal”, putting constant intense pressure on employees year-round, leaving no margin for emergencies or truly urgent seasons.

I continued to do my best to follow Matthew 18 in regards to Truth Community Church, so I met with the pastor and one of the elders of Tcomm at the end of July ‘16. They told me the elders had found me “untrustworthy”, and when I asked why, they said it was “private elder business” and wouldn’t tell me. If I had indeed committed some sin, it would’ve been their prerogative as Christian leaders to not only scripturally point it out, but also walk with me through it or provide counseling since I had a willing heart to learn and grow. Instead, I was not allowed to attend any events put on by Tcomm, nor step foot on the property. Side note – churches are public places of worship, they don’t actually have a right to treat non-members that way. One of the elders stood up for me and was forced to leave and lie about why they had to go – saying it was for “family reasons”. I warned some of my friends about the true nature of the church, but they believed the lies about me told by leadership, and deserted me.

Two years later, some of those ex-friends realized I was right and apologized to me. A pastor in the Ohio area found out what happened to me, found out that Tcomm has actually treated MULTIPLE people and families in the same manner as they did me, and spoke to one of the Tcomm elders about it – but he blew it off as “private elder business, you don’t understand all the details.” So Tcomm continues in unrepentant sin, abusing their leadership and role as shepherds.

It was during this time of overwork, exhaustion, spiritual and emotional emptiness, and hunger from not having sufficient time to provide for myself, that one night as I sat on the 3rd deck of the Ark completely alone (the shifts went to midnight or later, after all) that I realized that my family was so busy; my coworkers and I stretched so thin we rarely saw each other; I was sleeping in my car or at work because I hated going to the house where I lived; that I realized I could have walked off the top of the Ark and my absence would not have been noticed for days. I didn’t “want it all to end”, I just was so tired and empty in every way that I simply wanted to fade away and be with Jesus. Jesus knew me and loved me, I was wanted by Him even if no one else wanted me, He valued me even if AiG or Tcomm or some of my friends didn’t. I prayed through that and kept moving forward, but that was the deepest moment of my depression, and I was unable to fully continue healing from all of these things until now, here in New Zealand, nearly three years later.

I write that because those who know me, know that I’m a consistently joyful person, so for me to reach that point of depression shows the severity of what was happening.

In December of 2016 I fully realized beyond doubt that the woman I lived with was emotionally abusive, and I prayed for the opportunity to leave. I began packing the day she left to go to Florida for two weeks over Christmas, and on Christmas Eve God provided housing for me. Within a week I moved, and I was completely gone from her house within an hour before she walked through the door from her return flight.

During the next eleven months I learned Human Resources from the ground up while also trying to recover from all of the above, while still facing ex-friends/coworkers who thought I was a liar and treated me as such, and people who were bullying me both at work and outside of work. I began going through biblical counseling at this time because I know that Jesus Christ gives the ability to overcome ALL of these things. It’s a process, but it’s possible. Anyone who sees my life and reads my instagram or Facebook posts can see that I have tried to live victoriously through all of this. At this time I was also ministering to people walking through their own grief by taking them canoeing or teaching them art (metalworking/jewelrymaking), and trying to encourage AiG staff with departmental ice cream sandwich days paid for out of my own pocket.

I was excited for Human Resources because I knew 85-90 percent of 1,000 employees by name, usually knowing their job, department, and some interesting fact about them as well. Because I had been “in the trenches” during the opening of the Ark, people trusted me. I purposely tried to give people time and attention, and listen to them because there’s a massive deficit of that at AiG. I also refused to show partiality – Attractions staff (Creation Museum, Ark Encounter) are the grassroots of AiG, but are often considered lowest priority and have the fewest “perks”, the most difficult hours, and often the most stressful jobs dealing with guests, weather, animals, and/or the ups and downs of food service. If they call in sick, they know their coworkers will have to bear their part of the already heavy load, so people often didn’t call in sick even when they should have. I hoped that by “paying my dues” and accumulating as much knowledge as I could, I could possibly help the employees and take the pressure off those intense situations through eventual organizational changes.

In the spring and fall, before kids are out of school and able to work, there’s a big “crunch time” when the Ark and Museum have a large upswing in guests, and because of already being shortstaffed, office employees are pulled from the back to serve at peak times like the first few hours in the morning and lunchtime when employees need to be relieved to go eat. Because I was competent in the five Museum Host departments (housekeeping, food services, petting zoo, retail, guest services) Ken Ham had specifically told the managers that I was eligible to be pulled from my HR job to work in any of those departments. Because of the overwork during 40 Days/40 Nights, I put specific boundaries in place.

My stipulations were: The department wanting me to work would have to email my manager and myself 24 hours in advance; I would have to see if my schedule accommodated it; and I had the ability to say yes or no. This protected me from trying to put too much in my day or overpromising, and it also allowed me to have the right clothes or preparation etc since each department had different requirements.

What follows is an extremely personal example of the lack of employee value. I share it because if I had been a seasonal employee instead of Human Resources, the incident would most likely have been completely unnoticed:

In September 2017, I was going to help with an indoor air-conditioned workshop at 10 am. I was wearing clothes appropriate for the cold offices, and I was scheduled to be done at noon. When I got to work one of my coworkers told me that Ken had “thrown a fit this morning because not all the food venues were open“ (due to being short-staffed), so I was being sent out to run the lemonade stand at the Museum. (I’d been popular out there previously because I’d been singing and friendly and did a good job – I’d even received a note about it).

Being told to go to the lemonade stand did NOT honor my 24 hour rule which protected me. I was not dressed for outdoors, and I didn’t have the right clothes with me either. That day was one of the hottest it had been all year, and there had been multiple weather alerts because the heat index was so high that the elderly and pets were cautioned to stay indoors. The job required me to stand on asphalt in almost direct sun from 10 am to 2 pm. Not only that, I usually ate double or triple breakfasts before I worked in food services because I was constantly hungry, in part because I hadn’t recovered my health from the stress of 40 Day/40 Nights. I told my coworker all those things, and asked if I ABSOLUTELY had to switch to the lemonade stand. She said she went to ask the Museum Director and he said yes, Ella has to be at the lemonade stand.

I submitted to that. I went out there, in clothes that were too hot, without the proper amount of food that I usually eat, to fill the role just like a seasonal employee would – I didn’t “pull rank”. It was not going to end well. I looked my coworker in the eyes and said all of those things to her.

Standing on asphalt at the lemonade stand in the sun, while serving guests, while also troubleshooting my point of sale station (turns out the heat had fried the receipt printer, if I remember correctly) all took its toll. At 1:30 I radio’d to ask if I could be relieved for lunch, but I could hear the busyness in the background as the cafe staff member asked me if I could wait. I knew they wouldn’t have asked me if they didn’t really need me to, so I waited. I had been constantly drinking water trying to stop overheating, and because I was so hot I was becoming discombobulated, while not knowing that drinking that much water on an empty stomach causes nausea.

I was finally relieved and proceeded to be extremely sick, both hot and cold at once and trying to cool down and warm up from my body going into shock, but I couldn’t throw up because I had nothing to throw up. I tried to get to my office where I could essentially “break down” in peace without bothering anyone, but right at my office door I ran into Ken Ham, Mark Looy, Officer Joe Niemeyer, and some others. They attempted to joke with me but I was crying, so they asked what was wrong. I told them I’d been scheduled for an indoor workshop but had been told to work in the heat out at the lemonade stand, and now I was going to be sick.

So if anyone doubts whether Ken knows the consequences of his arbitrary decisions, he does.

This was the absolute worst case scenario for me, because at that time I had been working with one of my mentors to develop a powerpoint to pitch to administration about handling and preventing the burnout culture I saw everywhere (and was a danger of becoming a casualty myself), and I was hoping to use my experience to make a solid presentation. Having a physical breakdown (no matter how justified) was the LAST thing I wanted to do. However, it showed me that they are fully aware of what’s going on, and they make no efforts to change.

Soon after that, my manager and I met to discuss me transferring to a different department since I was becoming miserable in HR from both the way it allowed treatment of employees and the type of work involved, even though I was giving 150% effort. However, the department I was most qualified for was closed to me because of nepotism, bullying, and illegal discrimination because I’m a woman (later, another woman was also denied an interview for that department simply on the basis of being a woman). It was at this time that the bullying I’d already been receiving escalated, both at work and outside of work.

In November ‘17 we had the staff Christmas Party put on by HR, and since I’m naturally an event organizer, it was the most fun I’d had in months, even though I was showing signs of burnout. I was also worried because I had to choose a department to transfer into by the end of November, but I knew that the best department for me was closed to me, so I didn’t know what I was going to do.

I needn’t have worried. The morning after the Christmas Party, I received news that one of my younger sisters was suddenly diagnosed with thyroid cancer, so I moved home as soon as possible. When I got home, my body crashed from all the stress and trauma finally catching up to me, and I’ve been on and off bedrest for 18 months now, even here in New Zealand. If you’ve seen me cheerfully living my life out and about, it’s been between long days in bed doing nothing, sometimes with blindness migraines completely incapacitating me.

I apologize if my words come across harshly. I’m not angry or bitter, and I’m happy to be out of that situation and finally healing. I’m simply telling the truth, and it’s the unfortunate hard truth. I haven’t wanted to write any of this, and have held off for a long time, yet there are many people like me who walk in silence and undeserved shame, burdened by how they’ve been hurt, and unable to speak about it so that they can truly heal.

SILENCE PROLONGS ABUSE. AiG and Truth Community Church have been approached in the biblical manner by more knowledgeable and wiser people than me about what they’re doing, and haven’t changed. It’s sin, and I’m calling it for what it is.

Thank you to all of you who have loved me with sincere hearts during the last nearly four years, giving time and love and kindness when I needed it most. Thank you for patience and understanding and gentleness, especially to those who’ve helped me verbally process this crud in order to get through it. And given hugs. Your love overwhelms me. The small miracles of joy and love that God has granted during the last four years are a story unto itself, as this excerpt is only ⅓ of all that’s happened.