Ham and the Bible
Margaret Sanders and John Stear
KEN HAM ON EDUCATION! -- The Bible -- is it a science
(March 8, 2002)
Ken Ham: Question: We would have to say the Bible is certainly not a science textbook, such as school geology texts, right?
Answer: It's true -- the Bible doesn't teach about, say, the differences between sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks. It doesn't discuss the process of permineralization that is a part of fossilization. And the Bible doesn't go into details about how lava domes form on volcanoes.
While the Bible isn't a "textbook of science", per se, it does deal with geology, and other scientific disciplines, and we can trust it when it touches on these areas. The Bible isn't meant to be an exhaustive work on all subjects. Rather, it is a revelation from God that gives us the BIG PICTURE, and enables us to have a proper framework for understanding our universe.
For instance, the Bible impinges on geological matters when it reveals that the Earth was made a few thousand years ago, that death entered the world through Adam's sin, and that the Earth was flooded by water in Noah's day. Understanding the true history of the universe allows us to correctly interpret the rocks, including fossils, we find today.
Mr Ham says, above, "While the Bible isn't a 'textbook of science', per se, it does deal with geology, and other scientific disciplines, and we can trust it when it touches on these areas." If, as Mr Ham says, we can trust the Bible with regard to certain scientific disciplines then how does he explain its untrustworthiness in many other areas? If the Bible is infallible, why are there two creation accounts and which creation story in Genesis is correct?
These accounts not only disagree with one another in many instances, but disagree within each. Some examples of the former are:
(a) the bat is a bird (Lev. 11:19, Deut. 14:11, 18);
(b) Some fowls are four-footed (Lev. 11:20-21);
(c) Some creeping insects have four legs. (Lev. 11:22-23);
(d) Hares chew the cud (Lev. 11:6);
(e) Conies chew the cud (Lev. 11:5);
(f) Camels don't divide the hoof (Lev. 11:4);
(g) The earth was formed out of and by means of water (2 Peter 3:5 RSV);
(h) The earth rest on pillars (1 Sam. 2:8).
The list goes on. (See Biblical "Science")
Below are just some of the many conflicts between the two accounts:
(1) "And God made the beast of the earth" (Gen. 1:25) and "So God created man in his own image" (Gen. 1:27), versus "God formed man of the dust of the ground" (Gen. 2:7) and "God formed every beast of the field and every fowl of the air, and brought them unto Adam" (Gen. 2:19). According to the 1st account man was created after the beasts. According to the 2nd he was created before them. In the latter instance, he had to have been created before the other beasts, otherwise, how could they have been brought to him?
(2) "And God created ... every winged fowl" (Gen. 1:21) and "So God created man in his own image" (Gen. 1:27), versus "God formed man of the dust of the ground" (Gen. 2:7) and "...God formed...every fowl of the air (Gen. 2:19). In the 1st creation God made the fowl, then man. In the 2nd he made man, then the fowl.
(3) "And the earth brought forth...the tree yeilding [sic] fruit...the third day" (Gen. 1:12-13) and "God created man in his own image...the sixth day" (Gen.1:27, 31), versus "God formed man of the dust of the ground" (Gen. 2:7) and "Out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is...good for food..." (Gen. 2:9). In the 1st creation God made the fruit trees on the third day and created man three days later. In the 2nd creation God made man before the fruit trees.
(4) "And God said, 'Let the waters bring forth abundantly ... fowl that may fly ... '" (Gen. 1:20), versus "And out of the ground the Lord God formed every ... fowl of the air ... " (Gen. 2:19). According to the 1st creation all winged fowl were created out of the waters. Yet, the 2nd account says that every fowl of the air was created out of the ground. (For more of this nature see The Creation Accounts).
How do writings, said to be the word of God, contain such elemental errors? If the Bible is infallible why doesn't it contain the one true version of the Creation?
If the Bible is an infallible source for scienctific facts, are Mr Ham and his followers geo-centrists? Mr Ham has admitted the Bible states that the Earth was created before the Sun. He said, " ... the Bible reveals that the Earth was created before the Sun, while the 'big bang' says that the Sun was created before the Earth - a direct contradiction!" See Ham's Big Bang. If they are not geo-centrists, then how can they say the Bible is infallible? And if it errs with these very basic scientific facts, then how can one say with any sort of certainty that it does not err with "facts" like the flood, young Earth theory, etc.? Additionally, what sort of a scientist starts with a premise that he refuses to subject to testing and refuses to accept facts ( yes, FACTS, Mr Ham) which prove that premise to be incorrect? Finally, Mr Ham's premise is virtually identical to his conclusion: the Bible is infallible, consequently, everything in it is true. Mr Ham could do not only with a real course in the scientific method but also a real (i.e. secular) course in logic. His current logic is circular and self-serving to say the least.
Mr Ham's home schooling is utter rubbish. It throws a bad light on non-fundamentalist home schoolers, some of whom are using the only option they have to ensure their children get a quality education. Mr Ham's home schooling serves only to indoctrinate children in some weird religious/political cult of forced ignorance and intolerance.