There was a time when creationism almost made sense. Old Style Creationism was pretty simple, with a simple defense that played well to simple people. God created everything just so, from pandas to penguins to pachyderms. Sure you could argue with his choices (black flies?) but each animal and plant worked in its place in the world because god put it there. Easy Peasy. And the flood? Well, maybe it was local or something. No big deal. Evolution? Tool of the devil, stick your fingers in your ears, ” la la la.” God said it, we believe it, end of story. Nice and neat.
Then along came the Ayatollah of the Appalachians, Ken Ham, and the “Oh ye of little faith” crowd. They set out to PROVE Genesis, not take it on faith. And thus was born “Creation Science.” Being neither theologians nor scientists they had no idea the can of worms they were opening. Basically they don’t seem to see that you can tell people to believe any crazy shit and they either will or won’t, but it depends on them, not the story. But proving something is another kettle of fish entirely.
Anything that can be proved can also potentially be disproved. You have to present actual evidence. And while people may still believe in spite of bad evidence, it might also be found that the evidential house of cards collapses, and you can’t go back to “just believe.”
It could very well be that Ken Ham is providing us with a great public service by moving the bible squarely into the domain of science and thus showing how silly it really is.
For example, the Sensuous Curmudgeon turned up the nugget of the old word monkeys. Standard evolutionary theory says something like old world and new world monkeys evolved from a common ancestor millions of years ago, and that separate species came from groups being isolated from each other. Sometimes, biologists will have trouble detailing exactly when and where groups got isolated and speciated, but this is not a major problem for the theory. After all we are assuming small changes accumulate over a very long period of time. It is actually very easy to imagine.
Now, Old Style Creationism would say, “Bushwa, God created some monkeys over here and some over there, each perfect in their place 6,000 years ago.” Period, end of story.
But Creation Science with it’s Grand Unified Theory of Genesis, has a different story.
So, a thousand years after god creates all the animals in their places, he decides to kill them all. NIce. What did the animals do? Oh, never mind.
So, those new world monkeys in South America get the notion (from where?) that a catastrophe is coming (monkeys are smarter than people?) and they start heading for the Ark (How do they know where it is? If monkeys know the flood is coming, why aren’t people all over the place building arks?) Actually, even though there are lots of different species of new world monkeys, there are five families of these primates, which the CS people see as “kinds.” So, ten monkeys (2 of each “kind”) set out to walk from Central and South America to Israel.
This is actually pretty easy because, before the flood (according to CS), Africa and South America are connected as Pangea, just like in the real world. Somehow, our intrepid monkeys arrive alive at the ark, are checked in and put in the monkey section.
Finally the rains come and waters come out of the earth and somehow manage to cover the entire surface of the earth to a depth of 15 cubits higher than Mount Everest. Now, I am not even going to ask how water not in a basin manages to stay on the face of the earth, or where it came from or where it went.
Once again, somehow our ten intrepid monkeys manage to survive a year on the ark. Fortunately they are small, so they don’t each too much monkey chow, but for a year? Really? Not a single animal dies? Finally, the waters subside and the ark comes to rest on Mount Ararat somewhere in Turkey. A year floating around with no sight of land whatsoever and they only got as far as Turkey? Never mind. We are only talking about the monkeys here.
So, Noah opens the door (or not) and the animals all pile out onto Ararat. Noah tells them “good luck” and starts planting grapes so he can get hammered — and who can blame him?
So, our five “kinds” of monkeys set off again. For South America. Which the flood has moved away from Africa into its present position. Poor monkeys! Oh, and one would presume that the earth has been denuded of vegetation: what plants can survive a year under 30,000 feet of water? So, I am not sure what the miracle monkeys would have eaten. But off to the new world they trek.
They walk back home. How do they know which way to go? And they must have walked pretty fast, because they didn’t leave any New World Monkeys in the old world. And then, somehow, they managed to swim across the Atlantic, so that a little less than 5,000 years ago ten miraculous monkeys arrived back in the new world. When they arrive, these monkeys get busy — really, really busy!
First they have to split into species. For example, from the two surviving members of the Callitrichidae “kind” there are now some 35 species (and probably more yet undiscovered) running around the jungles. Creation Science says those two individuals are programmed to be able to morph into different species over a couple of hundred years depending on their environment (Wait, animals change because of their environment, and that is not evolution?). So, at some point there was say, a pair of cotton-topped tamarins wanders from their sea side home, and walks hundreds of south to Brazil and in a couple of generations, poof! suddenly black tufted marmosets are being born.
And somehow this makes more sense than Darwin? Really? Over 100 species of new world monkeys all came from ten miracle monkeys 5000 years ago? So, species are like breeds of dogs? Oh wait, we have been breeding dogs for 10,000 years. And dogs really are the result of “intelligent design,” that is to say, human beings. All these species of monkeys had to be preprogrammed by god and that program had to run by itself, because there was no “re-creation” after the flood.
There is your “proof” that Genesis is true.
I think Ken Ham has done the world a great favor. He has tried to prove how Genesis could have really happened. The resulting mess shows how reasonable the science really is. Thanks, Ken, you’ve done us a great public service! All praise Ken Ham, Darwin’s greatest friend!