Many readers and posters to PT are well versed in the sheer zaniness of Young Earth Creationism. But even after reading YEC literature for over 10 years, every now and then I’ll come across something that makes me burst out laughing and saying to myself, “No, these guys cannot be serious.”
You really have to exercise some pretzel logic (just to work in a reference to a pretty cool Steely Dan album) to buy into a 6,000 year old earth, and a boat floating around for about a year with 16,000 animals taken care of by 8 people.
A perfect example of this double-jointed mind game came to me in an email from AiG a few days ago containing a link to a PDF pamphlet penned by Ken Ham, AiG’s President. (http://www.answersingenesis.org/Hom[…]ahsflood.pdf)
Aside from offering a series of sheerly absurd explanations of how they fit that many animals on board (they took babies), fed them all (a lot of them hibernated, so they didn’t eat), ventilated the ark (without smelling like their heads were shoved into a gorilla’s armpit), and shoveled up all the poop (probably done by undocumented workers, hence not mentioned in Genesis for tax purposes), Ham also wrote a short section regarding the building of the Ark.
On page 4 under the heading “How could Noah Build the Ark,” we read that “there is no reason to believe that they could not [Noah and his sons]… build the Ark between themselves in just a few years.”
Okay, let’s see how…
First we learn that “[t]he physical strength and mental processes of men in Noah’s day was at least as great (quite likely even superior) to our own.” So Noah was stronger and smarter than us, although no physical evidence is offered in support of this claim.
Now things start to get truly loopy.
“if one or two men today can erect a large house in just 12 weeks, how much more could three or four men do in a few years?” Um… three or four men with bulldozers, forklifts, cement mixers and nail guns, or burlap-clad ancients with a mule and a few hammers?
Ah, but wait. AiG has the answer! “…their tools, machines and techniques were not inferior to the ones we have today.” (The sound you just heard was your own eyes snapping open to the size of dinner plates.)
So Noah & Sons had electricity? Internal combustion engines? Lasers and all the other tools we use today? Where is the physical evidence of this?
The truly ironic thing about this is how closely it mimics claims I’ve heard Kent Hovind make in presentations he gave at UC Berkeley during my time in the Bay Area. Hovind once showed a Power Point slide of a clay or stone carving resembling a birdlike thing, and claimed that ancient civilizations may have had aircraft.
I say ironic because AiG regards Hovind as one of those “one-man band” creationists who go around the country spouting “evidences” for creationism so absurd that AiG felt compelled to publish a section on their web page urging supporters to stop using them and making the whole movement about as credible as perpetual motion, alchemy, and Jayson Blair.
The exchange between Hovind and AiG was so entertaining it reminded me of Jane Curtin and Dan Aykroyd doing their Point-Counterpoint bit on the old SNL. I was just waiting for Ham to say, “Kent, you ignorant slut!”
The tract goes even further than just claiming stronger, smarter and better-equipped Ark builders. Subject your sense of reason to this little dandy.
“It is evident from examining the ‘mysteries’ of earlier civilizations that the human race has likely lost just as much (maybe even more) knowledge from before the Flood as it has gained since that time. The idea that ancient generations were more primitive than ours is an evolutionary concept.” (Italics in the original)
Well, I guess if you think Kent Hovind, Leonard Nimoy and Erich von Däniken are authorities on human history, this might make sense. However, if you’ll put the bottle down and take a sober look at real archaeological evidence… um… no.
In the last couple of centuries alone we’ve seen the industrial and information revolutions. We’ve seen the development of aircraft and space travel. Humans have built telescopes that peer to the edges of the universe. We’ve made astonishing medical breakthroughs, and more are certainly in the future. The list could literally go on for miles!
What possible physical evidence does AiG have that any of this stuff existed in a pre-Flood world? Should we be digging in the lower sedimentary layers of the Grand Canyon looking for iPods?
Mozart, Einstein, Dr. Martin Luther King, Ernest Hemingway, Leonardo da Vinci, The B-52s, French Impressionism, Shakespeare…
(If you question the inclusion of The B-52s in the above list you’ve obviously never heard Planet Claire.)
Well, I guess there is one way to see history through AiG’s lens. Just say, “Dude, pass the bong over here.”