It is interesting that, as of Wednesday (July 13) late afternoon, that Answers in Genesis has posted nothing about the spectacular preliminary results from the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) released the previous day. Most people probably missed it, but AiG has responded in a very poor way, on their Facebook and possibly other social media. On Tuesday, July 12 on AiG’s and Ken Ham’s Facebook pages, there was a simulcast of the NASA press conference where the first photos and results from the JWST were shown. Here is the link to the Ham Facebook post of the simulcast video: https://fb.watch/ee25qVAHqq/?mibextid=qZdngE&fs=e&s=cl. I don’t know if you have to have a Facebook account to view this. (It is also available on Youtube here).
Their response was by AiG’s astronomer, Dr. Danny Faulkner, and their “rocket scientist,” Rob Webb. Their discussion was a rather weak critique of the JWST’s findings and funny and sad at the same time. Through most of their simulcast, one couldn’t hear what the NASA people were saying, but this may have been a technical difficulty. About 23 minutes in Dr. Faulkner and Webb bizarrely claim that light year distances don’t necessarily equal long time scales (thus not refuting a 6,000 year old universe). Soon after, Dr. Faulkner states his “theory” (not a scientific theory, but he doesn’t seem to know this) that we can see things billions of light years away in a 6,000 year old universe because of a “miracle.” His position is literally “then a miracle occurred.” This is reminiscent of the famous Sidney Harris cartoon found here:. Dr. Faulkner goes on to say that Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden saw pretty much what we see today when looking at the night sky.
Most of the rest of the simulcast consisted of preaching, and mocking NASA by ascribing the scientific views of NASA (and basically all of science) as “naturalistic worldview” and “assumptions” while touting their un-scientific use of “Biblical glasses.” At one point Dr. Faulkner would sip a drink of Cheerwine cherry cola every time he thought “naturalistic assumptions” were mentioned by NASA. Interestingly, Faulkner is skeptical that stars are forming today in spite of an incredible amount of information that has been around for decades, plus the spectacular visual of the Eta Carina Nebulae just provided by the JWST. Perhaps his standard of evidence is considerably different from mainstream astronomers. One suspects no amount of evidence could change their views. After all, both Dr. Faulkner and Webb have signed AiG’s “Statement of Faith” found here ( https://answersingenesis.org/about/faith/). One clause even posits, as a requirement for AiG employment, that:
No apparent, perceived, or claimed evidence in any field of study, including science, history, and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the clear teaching of Scripture obtained by historical-grammatical interpretation. Of primary importance is the fact that evidence is always subject to interpretation by fallible people who do not possess all information (Numbers 23:19; 2 Samuel 22:31; Psalm 18:30; Isaiah 46:9–10, 55:9; Romans 3:4; 2 Timothy 3:16).
Dr. Faulkner advertised one of his books available from AiG near the end of the broadcast. Then AiG’s simulcast ended with more preaching by Faulkner and Webb, imploring us to not trust the “shifting sands of Man’s opinions” and reminding us that AiG, the Ark, and Creation Museum are “all about the Gospel.”
I can’t believe I sat through the entire simulcast. I want that time back! As mentioned, it was unintentionally funny and sad, but still an enormous waste of time. The creationist’s bizarre views are ignored by science, but are held by millions of voters. I wouldn’t have endured this, but AiG and its followers have an inordinate influence on science education in Kentucky and elsewhere and the Ark is still receiving a $1.825 million per year sales tax incentive rebate from Kentucky Tourism. AiG has support from numerous Kentucky politicians and counts two candidates for Governor (Attorney General Daniel Cameron and State Representative Savannah Maddox), and perhaps more, as supporters.