What Ken Ham thinks about the Webb Space Telescope

Ham tweet

A correspondent sent us this tweet by Ken Ham:

There's only one way to go back in time & that's to read the true history of the universe God revealed to us in His Word beginning in Genesis. "Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?" (Job 38:4)

It is Mr. Ham’s take on the recent launch of the James Webb Space Telescope. I find it astonishing, even for something coming from Ken Ham.

First, it gives quoting out of context a very bad name. The story of Job is a horrible one (I have written a bit more about it here, pp. 160-168). In the book, God gives Satan permission to torture Job and kill his family, for no other reason than to win a bet with Satan. Job, in contrast to God, seems to believe in justice or fairness, and calls out to God to show him his guilt. God’s response is to mock Job. Chapter 38, the chapter cited by Mr. Ham, reads (according to the 1985 JPS Tanakh),

4Where were you when I laid the earth's foundations?

Speak if you have understanding. …

6 Onto what were its bases sunk?

Who set its cornerstone …?

God to goes on to browbeat and belittle Job. Though God never addresses Job’s concern, Job finally gives in, admitting that he is “but dust and ashes.” How such a reprehensible story buttresses the case for creation escapes me.

Second, and perhaps worse, a careful reading of the text shows clearly that its author thought of the earth as a solid object with a physical foundation and a base that was sunk into something (perhaps like a pile driven into the earth?). Unsurprisingly, then, we find that Mr. Ham is quoting as an authority an author who thinks that the earth is a flat slab, possibly sitting on some unknown foundation into which piles have been driven, and probably with a dome over it. (Possibly that foundation is sitting on a turtle.) Hardly a portion of the Bible that I would want to quote if I wanted to cite an authority on the creation of the earth. But with Mr. Ham, we never know. Any out-of-context quotation will suffice.