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It’s heresy all the way down

Uh-oh. Pat Robertson has been sniping at the Young Earth Creationists again, and Ken Ham is pissed off.

Well the secularists love Pat Robertson today! A number of them are posting a section from CBN’s "700 Club" program today (Tuesday) on YouTube and on various websites. They love it that Pat Robertson has once again used his "700 Club" program to engage in name-calling as he attacks those of us who take Genesis as literal history (as it is meant to be taken—as Jesus takes it).

Actually, no, none of us secularists love Pat Robertson. That he rejects one absurd tenet of far right Christianity does not mean he’s on our side — he’s still a mad theocrat.

But OK, let’s go through Ham’s rebuttal of Robertson’s denial of young earth creationism.

If you watch the CBN "700 Club" program from 37:50 to 40:56 on Tuesday (see link below), you will hear Pat Robertson:

1. … claim that: “The truth is, you have to be deaf, dumb and blind to think that this earth that we live in only has six thousand years of existence."

So, Robertson has called all of you who believe God’s Word as written in Genesis as “deaf, dumb and blind.”

Let’s get one thing out of the way: deaf, dumb, or blind people are quite smart enough to see through the bogosity of creationism. What he should have said is that you have to be in active denial of the evidence to be a creationist…a creationist of any kind, young earth, old earth, or intelligent design.

2. … express his utter ignorance of science as he equates radio carbon dating with millions of years! He just has no idea! Carbon dating has nothing to do with millions of years—he’s using the wrong dating method to even discuss millions of years. Yes, it’s his ignorance that abounds.

Ha ha! Yes, he got that wrong! He cited the wrong radiometric method for dating Mesozoic rocks. Radiocarbon dating is only good for about 50,000 years…oh, wait, Ken. It’s not good for millions of years, but it does date objects that are eight times older than the purported age of the Earth given by you Bible-wallopers.

You’re so concerned about citing the right technique, so I take it you should be fine with potassium-argon or uranium-lead or rubidium-strontium dating? Those do give us dates in the millions and billions of years.

You’re even goofier than Pat Robertson if you simply reject all those other methods. He made an error of range, but you make the error of outright rejecting all of physics.

3. … give an explanation of the first three days of creation that is, well, beyond ignorant! Frankly it is ridiculous.

Robertson said a Biblical day could be millions or billions of years long. The day-age excuse for Bible chronology is pretty silly, but even more so is demanding that the creation week actually involved 6 literal 24 hour days 6000 years ago.

4. … state that: “There was a point of time after the earth was created, after these things were done, after the universe was formed, after the asteroid hit the earth and wiped out the dinosaurs, and after all that there was a point of time that, there was a particular human being that God touched. And that was the human that started the race that we are now part of. I think prior to that who knows what was here."

So, he appears to be saying there were other human beings before Adam, but only one that “God touched" who started the human race! He doesn’t know his Scripture! For instance, in I Corinthians 15:45 we are told Adam was the “first man.” There were no other men before him.

Your Scripture is incoherent mess that is not an accurate description of world history, so who cares? You are objecting to an interpretation of the book of Genesis that is different from yours — but you’re both interpreting and twisting and making a hash of the book. There are also an awful lot of Christians who interpret it like Robertson.

5. … state that “To deny the clear record that’s there before us makes us look silly.”

Sadly, it’s Pat Robertson who makes Christianity look silly, which is why the atheists love him today. What a travesty! This man uses his position on a major Christian TV program to help the atheists mock God’s Word!

Oh, stop that. We atheists don’t love Pat Robertson. I think you all make Christianity look silly.

And again, you have no evidence that this is “God’s word” — given that everyone seems to have a different understanding of “God’s word,” I’d have to say God seems to be a piss-poor communicator.

6. … claim: “There’s no way that all you have here took place in 6,000 years. It just couldn’t have been done. It couldn’t possibly have been done.”

Really Pat Robertson? You mean there is no way God, the infinite Creator, could not have created the universe in six days just six thousand years ago? God could have created everything in six seconds if He wanted too! And it’s not a matter of what you think anyway–it’s a matter of what God has clearly told us in His infallible WORD!

Pat Robertson illustrates one of the biggest problems we have today in the church—people like Robertson compromise the Word of God with the pagan ideas of fallible men! That’s why a big part of the AiG ministry is to call the church and culture back to the authority of the Word. Pat Robertson is not upholding the Word of God with his ridiculous statements — he is undermining the authority of the Word. And any attack on the WORD is an attack on the person of Jesus Christ, who IS THE WORD!

You’ve invented this magical all-purpose explanation called God — who can do anything you want. That is not an explanation. Just shouting louder and louder that your explanation is the only correct one is not at all convincing.

Nice to know, though, that every single Christian on the planet is a heretic, except for Ken Ham.

Comments

  1. loreo says

    Remember being a kid and playing superheroes, and there was that one annoying kid who insisted he had a force field that was made of kryptonite and non-magnetic and covered in frictionless grease so he could do anything and nobody could touch him?

    I see he’s all grown up.

  2. jrfdeux, mode d'emploi says

    Everything Ken Ham wrote above can be distilled down to: “I AM TEH AUTHORITAH, RESPECT ME NOT PAT ROBERTSON PLS K THANKS. CUZ JESUS SEZ SO.”

  3. rq says

    Adam was the “first man.” There were no other men before him.

    Ah, but there was that bunch of women…

    God could have created everything in six seconds if He wanted too!

    So there! *neener neener*
    (I can’t figure out if there’s supposed to be a comma after ‘wanted’, or if that ‘too’ is supposed to be ‘to’. It works either way.)

    people like Robertson compromise the Word of God with the pagan ideas of fallible men

    At least Robertson keeps the pagan ideas of fallible women out of it. Imagine the fiasco! :P

    Had a good laugh over this one. Thanks! :)

  4. says

    God could have created everything in six seconds if He wanted too!

    Could he, Ken Ham. Could he really? According to your book of stories, he was so pooped out after doing it all in steps over the course of six days that he had to rest for an entire day after that before he could get to the real work of cursing humanity and killing everyone.

  5. jerthebarbarian says

    Nice to know, though, that every single Christian on the planet is a heretic, except for Ken Ham.

    That’s his regular schtick these days, isn’t it?

    He was all upset at the Noah movie too, because the director took liberties with the Noah story in Genesis that are completely different from the liberties that Ken Ham takes with the story in Genesis. Same behavior, different context.

    (My favorite part was that Ham was all upset that the director didn’t use his completely fabricated idea that the word “kinds” used in Genesis means that Noah only had to take two of each “dog” or “bear” or “cat” or whatever onto the ark. “Famous director is ignoring my fanfiction and pretending it’s not canon when we all totally know that it is” is basically what it boiled down to and it was hilarious.)

  6. Christoph Burschka says

    none of us secularists love Pat Robertson

    On the contrary: Both he and Ken Ham contribute greatly the rise of secularism in their own ways. Pat makes religion look bad by supporting the more despicable aspects of theocracy; Ken makes it look ridiculous with his creationism.

  7. shadowspade says

    Sadly, it’s Pat Robertson who makes Christianity look silly.

    Actually Ken, your god does such an amazing job making you look silly that all others are just pretenders to the throne.

  8. whheydt says

    Re: Ham’s point #4…

    Does that mean that, because Michelle Obama is First Lady, there were no women prior to 2009?

  9. shadowspade says

    Silly whheydt, 1857 is the year women were created. Harriet Lane, Pres. James Buchanan’s niece, was given the title as she couldn’t be referred to as the President’s wife, or Mrs. President. Oh wait, that means there were women before the First Lady. Now I’m totally confused.

  10. twas brillig (stevem) says

    It seems that Robertson is mildly trying to accept evolution as stuff that happened. And the Bibble is simply metaphor for God “touching” one of those “apes”, turning it into Adam, the first Man [monolith not required]. If that is Pat’s attempt to cope with his massive “cognitive dissonance”, at least he’s trying something (however weak it is). Ham is totally immersed in [blah neuroses blah] [the one where he thinks he has figured everything out, so everybody else is stupid and wrong].
    .
    I foolishly started to read some of the “comments” attached to Ham’s screed [shudder]. Aside from the Hamscreed ™, the comments supporting the Hamster are revolting. blech, blech, cough, cough… I need to wash my eyes…

  11. What a Maroon, el papa ateo says

    @shadowspade,

    Clearly there were women before Harriet Lane, but they weren’t ladies.

  12. Nemo says

    I actually don’t think Genesis was ever meant to be taken as literal history by its authors, even thousands of years ago. It doesn’t read that way at all. That seems like a more “modern” interpretation of the text — even if it is an interpretation that dates back as far as Jesus.

  13. cag says

    It is not Pat or Ken who make christianity look silly. It is because christianity is silly.

  14. peterh says

    Ham seems to remain impervious to the fact that his widely accepted canon) but not the only Biblical canon around) makes no mention whatever of the 4,004BCE/October 23rd/9a.m.GMT silliness; that was the brain fart of Bishop Ussher in 1650. And that Ussher cribbed his facts and ignored manuscript evidence which did not support his nutty hypothesis. I would wager 2¢ that Ham has zero expertise in biblical Hebrew.

  15. says

    the pagan ideas of fallible men

    Does that mean Bishop Ussher — whose chronology is the basis of Ham’s entire life’s work — wasn’t fallible, or wasn’t a man? In fact, how does Ken Ham overcome his own fallibility?

    Oh, right. Quoting Bible verses makes you infallible. Except when it doesn’t.

  16. imthegenieicandoanything says

    Con men fighting over unusually, stupid, ignorant, mean, bitter – but very willing – marks. May they tear each other’s assholes to shreds.

  17. Sastra says

    Nemo #12 wrote:

    I actually don’t think Genesis was ever meant to be taken as literal history by its authors, even thousands of years ago. It doesn’t read that way at all. That seems like a more “modern” interpretation of the text — even if it is an interpretation that dates back as far as Jesus.

    If the Book of Genesis doesn’t “read” as if it was written as literal history to a modern reader (i.e.you), isn’t it more likely that the idea that it’s all meant as metaphorical poetry more likely to be a modern interpretation? I’d be a lot more interested in hearing what historical scholars who are familiar with ancient works think was meant — assuming of course that these experts don’t themselves have a personal desire to make the Bible seem more reasonable. From what I understand, the general consensus is that the people of the time did not think in scientific terms, but did take such tales fairly literally.

  18. playonwords says

    Recently came across the blog of Dr Stephen DiMattei who seems very knowledgeable about Biblical texts. The lead page is here, Contradictions in the Bible He has been errr deconstructing the Biblical account of creation beginning with Genesis 1:1-2.

    A sample of the Genesis 1:1-2 article but be warned it is a long, dense and authoritative post

    Despite strong traditional and often authoritative interpretative claims that were formed centuries after this ancient text was written and devoid of knowledge about its historical and literary context, the opening of Genesis 1 does not depict a creatio ex nihilo, that is a creation out of nothing. The Hebrew text is clear on this point and recognized by all biblical scholars. Rather, what the text of Genesis 1:2 informs us is that when God began to create, earth in some manner of speaking already existed as a desolate, formless, empty waste—tohû wabohû in Hebrew, literally “desolation and waste”—in the midst of a dark surging watery abyss (tehôm). This is the initial primordial state of creation that the creator deity inherits so to speak, and it is a prominent cultural feature in other ancient Near Eastern creation myths, from Egypt to Mesopotamia.

    /snip

    Thus modern readers who are ignorant of the literary and historical contexts of these ancient texts, a literary context that the biblical scribes themselves were well aware of and consciously drew from, but nonetheless feel qualified to pontificate on the meaning of these ancient documents are just being dishonest and disingenuous to these texts and the beliefs and views of their authors. Not only that, but this type of practice—pontificating meaning on an ancient text while willfully being ignorant of the cultural and literary contexts, beliefs, and worldviews advocated in the texts themselves—has the adverse effect of merely fueling more ignorance, and in turn generating staunch hypocritical views, since one now believes, out of ignorance, something about the text which the text in fact does not claim! Our goal is to be honest to the texts themselves on their own terms and to the beliefs of their authors—not ours.

    Dr DiMattei also gives very clear accounts of the multiple sources which went into the compound text we now refer to as the Old Testament How the Bible was discovered to be a collection of contradictory texts

  19. Jackie the wacky says

    I don’t get it. These people think the writers of the old testament were smart enough to know the mind of God, but not smart enough to write creative allegories to explain things they could not have possibly understood?

    The story of Adam and Eve is a myth about falling from ignorance to experience. It’s a story about growing up. To appreciate it, you don’t need to think it’s true.

  20. moarscienceplz says

    God could have created everything in six seconds if He wanted too!

    A HA! So Ken Ham thinks that his god is a lazy slacker who deliberately works thousands of times slower than he can.
    ;-)

  21. Demeisen says

    I can guess how Hamhocks is going to explain the discrepancy between bible dates and radiodating evidence, so just let me say that it musta been one hell of a flood to change the laws of physics.

    Also, how much are tickets going to be for the inevitable cage match?

  22. twas brillig (stevem) says

    from Contradictions…:

    Rather, what the text of Genesis 1:2 informs us is that when God began to create, earth in some manner of speaking already existed as a desolate, formless, empty waste—tohû wabohû in Hebrew, literally “desolation and waste”—in the midst of a dark surging watery abyss (tehôm).

    Genesis 1:1

    1In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
    2And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.

    uggghhhh, I must disagree with Dr Stephen DiMattei, I read Gen1.1 as heaven and earth (i.e. everything) being created first, as “THE beginning”. then Gen1.2:, says that what God created was “without form [i.e. "formless"], and void…”
    I hate it when I disagree with a person who also disagrees with the “other thing” I disagree with, yet also disagrees with the “other thing” I’m disagreeing with. Thus disproving the old saying, “enemy of my enemy must be my friend”.
    errrrr buttttt::: :::: we BOTH disagree with Genesis, I just disagree with how he worded his argument; just me being cranky, always looking for mistakes to point out, even on my side of the argument. ;-(

  23. woozy says

    Um, we atheists do not like Pat Robertson. Among most of us the dislike is quite intense to extreme antipathy and even hatred is not unheard of.
    We are begrudgingly impressed by Robertson’s anti-literalism because it is an indication of rare honesty. It would appear that Pat Robertson sincerely believes what he does and feels a need to be honest with himself and the world. That in and of itself is a single trait we can admire. But that is all.
    It is an honesty in stark contrast to Ham who seems to have no integrity whatsoever.
    ===

    The story of Adam and Eve is a myth about falling from ignorance to experience. It’s a story about growing up. To appreciate it, you don’t need to think it’s true.

    I think to appreciate it helps to think it isn’t true. If it isn’t true it’s a neat tidy little allegory myth with a surprising amount of emotional oomph. As a literal story it’s a bit bizarre and frustratingly lacking in detail or common sense.

  24. woozy says

    uggghhhh, I must disagree with Dr Stephen DiMattei, I read Gen1.1 as heaven and earth (i.e. everything) being created first, as “THE beginning”. then Gen1.2:, says that what God created was “without form [i.e. "formless"], and void…”

    Well, it gets ambiguous. The first thing God says and is described as creating is light. Then he *separates* the waters and then he pushes the water away from the dry stuff and calls it “land”. He’s never described as creating the water and it’s the *separating* of the water that is viewed as a more definitive creative act. And it doesn’t *become* “the heaven and the earth” until quite a few days into the creation.
    I think I’m with Dr. DiMattei on this one, although it seems there is a *lot* of oral tradition, translation, and interpretation going on, so who knows. I think the “formless inherited world” probably came first and the sentence of “god created the heaven and the earth” came (or was so mis-translated) later.

  25. Ray, rude-ass yankee says

    It’s heresy all the way down

    Won’t somebody think of the turtles?

  26. says

    Ham believes in Trickster God, who, for some strange reason known only to him, created a universe where innumerable things exist to trick people into thinking it is billions of years old. Ham will no doubt babble about the Universe being created with the appearance of age, but why would God do that? What benefit is it to anyone if the Universe appears to be 14 billion years old when it isn’t? After all that leads all sorts of people away from the Biblical literalism Ham thinks they’re supposed to believe in.

    Of course it does fit in with the passive-aggressive assholishness that Old Testament God seems to be prone to, and that his modern fundie believers find attractive. The God who never shows himself, never lets his creations know exactly what he wants, and never fixes anything they do he doesn’t like.

  27. procrastinatorordinaire says

    @27 twas brillig (stevem)

    Genesis 1:1

    1In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
    2And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.

    uggghhhh, I must disagree with Dr Stephen DiMattei, I read Gen1.1 as heaven and earth (i.e. everything) being created first, as “THE beginning”. then Gen1.2:, says that what God created was “without form [i.e. "formless"], and void…”

    The Bible was not written in English.

    Try Young’s literal translation:
    1 In the beginning of God’s preparing the heavens and the earth –
    2 the earth hath existed waste and void, and darkness [is] on the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God fluttering on the face of the waters,
    3 and God saith, `Let light be;’ and light is.

  28. consciousness razor says

    procrastinatorordinaire:

    The Bible was not written in English.

    How do you know? Were you there?

    If English versions of the Bible came from non-English versions, why are there still non-English versions?

  29. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    God could have created everything in six seconds if He wanted too!

    Yup, that’s an omnipotent being for you.

    I find that Christians are constantly denying the supposed omnipotent nature of their god. The standard comeback for the problem of evil is “Cause free will, duh!”. But the kicker is that a truly omnipotent god could create a world without evil while still allowing us free will. To choose to not do so is the choice of a monster. When I’ve pointed this out to Christians all I get is a blank stare, usually followed by them saddling up for a Gish Gallop. It’s like they can’t parse it at all.

  30. anthrosciguy says

    Remember being a kid and playing superheroes, and there was that one annoying kid who insisted he had a force field that was made of kryptonite and non-magnetic and covered in frictionless grease so he could do anything and nobody could touch him?

    Then someone would push him over (he’s no fun; he fell right over) and he’d go running home crying to mom that the other kids weren’t accepting his invulnerability. And he was doubly upset when even mom didn’t take his side.

    Well, that little boy decided then and there that he was gonna have followers, even if he had to leave Australia and move to the USA to find them. And now you know the rest. of. the. story.

  31. Randomfactor says

    God could have created everything in six seconds if He wanted too!

    Big Bang’s still got him beat by umpty-ump orders of magnitude. All created at once, the rest is rearrangement.

  32. mnb0 says

    Sorry PZ, for once Ol’Hambo from Kentucky was more entertaining than you.

  33. gardengnome says

    Crimson Clupeidae

    14 May 2014 at 4:29 pm (UTC -5)

    Only one way to settle this….

    Yeah, bibles at dawn!.

    What is the WORD? ‘Wacky Old Religious Doctrine’?

  34. unclefrogy says

    OK this time thing and the bible and any other religious story you want to name but for me the christian story first.
    We have been able to calculate the age of thing in many ways starting with written records we can go back and add in tree ring counts to match up ages then add radiometric dating and go back much further. None of that agrees with the bible story as to claimed age of the earth, so we are asked by some to make the day length as some how of a variable length which is not regular at all and unworkable in concept. Some say all of that deep time stuff is false and earth and all creation is 6000 years old and any evidence is a lie put there by god for some reason or put there by the devil to turn us away from god and his holly word.
    So that is the choice we are given either the time we can measure and calculate by the different means we have learned which verify each other is wrong and an illusion and it is what some other person or persons say it is because
    Since I do not “really know” which one of those other people are telling me the truth and from all I know personally creation was started in 1946 and just made to look old which would be all I could say if I followed the “logic” of Ham because teh devil can take many disguises.
    I think I will have to rely on the methods used by science and are easily tested by others and even myself as to what reality is and not the word of some guy because.
    if in this endeavor to find out what all this is and what is happening and how we discover things about it that are amazing and unexpected and turn all we know upon its head I will have to just say cool!
    as a side track in following this thought thread I was lead to the point that the religious view as expressed by ham is about making himself some how important same with all of them it is not about god or creation at all it is about them being important the entire creation was made because I am important when all the facts and our own personal experience says otherwise. The more we look in all directions the more insignificant we become in fact. they are delusional to listen to them is to reinforce their delusion that they are important.
    If they truly believed in their god there would be no reason at all to say anything to anyone else about any of it but that is not what they do is it?
    uncle frogy
    uncle frogy

  35. Ichthyic says

    If that is Pat’s attempt to cope with his massive “cognitive dissonance”, at least he’s trying something (however weak it is).

    I’m laughing at people who think that Robertson is now, or ever has, philosphically considered or evaluated ANYTHING he has ever said.

    get it through yer heads: HE’S A CONMAN. just like Glen Beck.

    there never was anything real to him; it was always just a schtick. A schtick he got paid well for.

    now, he’s getting paid to become more mainstream, because the GoP no longer wants to be the party of stupid, or so they say, so they are gradually trying to edge the far right overton window they created in order to woo authoritarians back to something at least slightly more sane.

    frankly, it’s probably too late for this generation. The damage has already been done. It will take at least 2 more generations to undo the damage the far right monster has done over the last 30 years.

    again… Pat ONLY says the shit he’s TOLD to say. He’s a fucking mouthpiece, and always has been.

  36. Ichthyic says

    If English versions of the Bible came from non-English versions, why are there still non-English versions?

    you know, the more I consider that, the better it is as a response.

  37. ck says

    One of the most striking features of the literalist believer is how incredibly small and powerless they make their god out to be, despite the fact they constantly award it titles to the contrary. FossilFishy is completely right that an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent god would not have the limitations the true believers insist must exist.

  38. yubal says

    I feel it is necessary to correct myself here. I no longer believe Ken Ham suffers from retardation, now I am convinced he’s just stupid.

  39. plainenglish says

    @yubal 46: Stupidity might be an accurate appraisal but in Ham’s case I think the word denial is more apt. Denial is very prominent in fervent believers:
    I KNOW the TRUTH because God gave it to ME and no matter how you date your tree rings or layered dirts or whatever, I KNOW the TRUTH. Jesus apparently said the world was about 6000 years old and I FEEL that is correct. All your math shenanigans with formulas and Science-mumble is just a lot of devil wind. I will always find a way to believe my lord and savior etc.
    On another note, I don’t like your use of the word retardation in this context. I have known many people previously labelled, ‘retarded’ and not a one of them, not one, ever exhibited behavior akin to Ham or Robertson for that matter. Not one of them felt a need to disparage another because they disagreed with their words or beliefs. I have found this phenomenon true among truly wonderful artists too, word-magicians and singers and such. The gifted do not need to condemn and attack others because they are occupied with living more truly, I think, or more deeply. My so-called retarded friends do not deserve your ignorance about them. That is just plain wrong, though I think I know what you are suggesting in saying it.

  40. unclefenris says

    I grew up in a very conservative, fundamentalist environment in the 1970′s-1980′s. I heard a lot about how there was no “missing link” between humans and other animals, but back then there seemed to be lots of folks who subscribed to the “day-age” view, where the creation account (at least up to the point where Adam and Eve appear on-stage) is metaphorical. I suspect that Pat Robertson has probably always been in that camp (and of course if you do try to take it literally, how do you define what a “day” means when the sun wasn’t created until day 4).

    I really don’t understand why fundamentalists would move from a position that allows lots of wiggle-room for explaining away any facts that contradict their beliefs, to a much more easily discredited literal 6000 years model.

  41. says

    @ playonwords #20

    Thanks for the linky.

    I particularly enjoyed the part on the covenant of Moses (in the discussion of Deuteronomists).

    You may know that the Afrikaners also have a Covenant with YHWH. This was to ensure victory in the battle of Blood River. The Nationalists later hijacked this for propaganda purposes, attempting to legitimise their “divine right” to rule South Africa.

  42. says

    @ yubal

    I no longer believe Ken Ham suffers from retardation, now I am convinced he’s just stupid.

    He is a wily charlatan. Certainly not lacking in intelligence.

    I am not particularly surprised by the differences between Pat and Ken. These can be put down to the differences in their personal life circumstances.

    –>Pat, an authoritarian with strong ties to the right, spouts his world view through the mouth of YHWH.

    –> Ken, a Johnny-Come-Lately, has been forced to the marginal spaces of religious discourse. He is forced by his personal, disempowered, life circumstances (and immigrant status) to go up against more established players in the religious money-raking game. His expedient course of action is , of course, fully endorsed by YHWH.

  43. Ex Patriot says

    This strikes me as a battle between the brain dead and niether side will win, but will provide much entertainment for the rational thinking people in the world

  44. Ichthyic says

    He is a wily charlatan. Certainly not lacking in intelligence.

    *bing* winner!

    anyone who doubts this should review the court cases involving AIG and its Australian “parent” group that Ham broke away from.

    here’s a start to get those interested rolling:

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/biblical-battle-of-creation-groups/story-e6frg6nf-1111113672622

    that legal battle went on for 10 years IIRC, and involved tens of millions of dollars in sales and marketing revenue.

  45. Ichthyic says

    If I was a religious bullshit artist in Australia, I too would have left for the far richer pickings in the US.

    …or New Zealand.

    *casts evil glance at Bananaman*

    fortunately (?) for Ray, he didn’t leave behind much of a following here in NZ. I think there is basically a brother/sister “team” that maintains what is left of his presence here. That’s about it.

  46. saganite says

    Ah, yes, Christians arguing amongst themselves…
    One particular argument I heard and liked was that Biblical Literalism was elevating the Bible to such a point that it was basically idolatry:
    According to this view, you are supposed to worship Jesus and God, not every literal word of the Bible and being a Biblical Literalist is a failure in faith. It’s worshipping a golden calf.
    I don’t agree with either side here, but if I had to choose… well… Biblical Literalism (or a selective but fundamentalist reading pretending to be such) tends to – in effect – be much, much worse than the more wishy-washy interpretations are.
    Not that Pat Robertson isn’t awful enough already…

  47. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    And any attack on the WORD is an attack on the person of Jesus Christ, who IS THE WORD!

    Jesus is a book? Huh.

  48. Snoof says

    Thumper @ 58

    “And any attack on the WORD is an attack on the person of Jesus Christ, who IS THE WORD!”

    Jesus is a book? Huh.

    Heresy! John 10:9 clearly states that Jesus is a door, not a book!

  49. alkisvonidas says

    “And any attack on the WORD is an attack on the person of Jesus Christ, who IS THE WORD!”

    Jesus is a book? Huh.

    Logos in Koine Greek can mean, depending on context, “word”, “speech”, “reason” and even “ratio”.

    Yeah, words had to multitask back then, as there wasn’t an awful lot of them ;-)

  50. consciousness razor says

    Heresy! John 10:9 clearly states that Jesus is a door, not a book!

    And dig this, there was a prophecy. Just before his head died, his last words were “Death is but a door. Time is but a window. I’ll be back.”

  51. alkisvonidas says

    Rather, what the text of Genesis 1:2 informs us is that when God began to create, earth in some manner of speaking already existed as a desolate, formless, empty waste—tohû wabohû in Hebrew, literally “desolation and waste”—in the midst of a dark surging watery abyss (tehôm).

    This is hardly a modern observation. Even in the 4th century AD, pagan Emperor Julian (who, btw, believed in his own mystical pastiche gobbledygook) makes fun of the Christian God in his Against the Galilaeans by essentially calling Him a glorified janitor, since He never originally created anything, but merely sorted out the primordial chaos, separated the Earth from Heavens, etc.

    It’s also interesting that Julian, like many pagan philosophers of late antiquity, gave a highly allegorical interpretation of Greek and Roman mythology, at the same time denying the allegorical interpretations Christian theologians put forth, reasoning that they were too ignorant and artless for such sophisticated theology!

  52. says

    I think Hammy just own-goaled:

    God could have created everything in six seconds if He wanted too!

    If God could do anything he wanted, he certainly could have dropped the Earth fully formed as it is now six seconds ago and you’d never know.

  53. says

    @ alkisvonidas

    Yeah, I never can quite fathom why the truthiness of the babble is so important for goddists (as opposed to, say (as in your example), Pagans). Why should a fiction of aspiration, high ideals, virtue and the like be less valuable than what Ken Ham and company espouse?

    I would suggest the opposite is true. If we set – even unreachable – ideals as a guide to live by, their value lies in the aspirational, in future transformation not in the jaded, restrictive past.

    Certainly not in the blockheaded denial of reality in favour of The Truth ™ that the Hamsters pursue.

  54. busterggi says

    “Genesis as literal history (as it is meant to be taken—as Jesus takes it).”

    Well if an illiterate unemployed vagrant who hung around with thieves and prostitutes takes it…

  55. David Marjanović says

    get it through yer heads: HE’S A CONMAN. just like Glen Beck.

    Actually, Glenn Beck – quite unlike Robertson – looks like a genuinely unhinged man of Mormon madness to me.

    Logos in Koine Greek can mean, depending on context, “word”, “speech”, “reason” and even “ratio”.

    Quite likely it was chosen to translate “wisdom” (the personified Wisdom of God) to keep the masculine gender of the Hebrew word (unlike the feminine sophia).

  56. P. Zimmerle says

    Let ‘em tear one another apart. The more their followers see this, the more muck they rake onto themselves.

  57. Ichthyic says

    Actually, Glenn Beck – quite unlike Robertson – looks like a genuinely unhinged man of Mormon madness to me.

    then you haven’t looked at his history.

  58. Von Krieger says

    Heresy! John 10:9 clearly states that Jesus is a door, not a book!

    So that means that he’s made of wood, which would float, much in the fashion of a duck. Therefore…

  59. CJO says

    Logos in Koine Greek can mean, depending on context, “word”, “speech”, “reason” and even “ratio”.

    Quite likely it was chosen to translate “wisdom” (the personified Wisdom of God) to keep the masculine gender of the Hebrew word (unlike the feminine sophia).

    The translators of the Septuagint had no such qualms about sophia, as they used it freely in the pertinent passages of Proverbs and Wisdom.

    The choice of Logos by Christians as the name for the activity of God in the world or divine imminence considerably more complicated than the simple choice of a gender-match with the Hebrew term; the two were sort of a philosophical gendered dyad in the Greek tradition already, with sophia representing a (stereotypically) passive vessel, and logos the activating principle of divine wisdom at work in the world (e.g. the logos spermatikos of the Stoics). Philo took up the Logos in his Platonic-Stoic synthesis as the Platonic Form of the mind of man and the Stoic active cause. He even digresses at one point on just this distinction in terms of gender, to the effect that, yes, sophia is feminine but that’s a description of the virtue, while the activity as divine wisdom and an agent in the world must be construed as masculine (in effect trying to have it both ways while still privileging masculinity).

    There’s also the possibility that early Christians were leery of perceived similarities with one of their main rivals, the cult of Isis as practiced widely in the Greco-Roman era, and so eschewed a feminine conception of divine imminence. Later, of course, the Gnostics enthusiastically constructed mythical cosmogenies with Sophia as the first-born of God, so it became anathema to the orthodox in the West. Clearly, though, it was still possible in the 6th century to attribute Holy Spirit-like status to Sophia, as in the name of Constantinople’s Hagia Sophia.

  60. woozy says

    Well if an illiterate unemployed vagrant who hung around with thieves and prostitutes takes it…

    Jesus was illiterate?

  61. says

    I can easily agree that Pat, who does seem to represent the old school, is trying to spiff up his con game. Maybe he’s looking for fresh pockets to pick so he’s trying to sound a bit more reasonable.
     
    Meanwhile, canned Ham has to protect his investment. He’s got quite a few nickles tied up in his current and planned theme parks so he can’t just up and say, “Yeah, I was wrong. Don’t bother coming to my parks anymore.”

  62. woozy says

    Considering belief in hard-core creationism is on the raise (despite atheism is also on the rise) and considering Ken Ham’s response is typical of most modern fundies, then if Pat Robertson is affecting a more lenient stance to “spiff up his con game” then he has a *lousy* demographics analyst as hard-core intolerance is certainly the better return investment. There’s no room among the true believers for a moderate position or respect for a moderate position.

  63. says

    I wonder what Thorstein Veblen would make of the rise of religious idiocy? He is the person who first described the phenomenon of “conspicuous consumption”.

    An example I read about, was of a pimp flaunting his bling while driving his drop-top Ferrari through a very poor and rough neighbourhood … music blaring. His social status is derived from this display, and his getting away with it.

    I propose a new term (which I shall immediately ascribe to Professor Veblen, to lend it a veneer of credibility) for the religious equivalent: “conspicuous idiocy” . The Hamster gets his own term: “invidious idiocy”.

    (This last does not detract from my previous comment regarding his intelligence. He displays “invidious idiocy” because that is what he thinks the market wants.)

  64. says

    @Woozy #74: I’m not convinced it’s on the rise, I think the people who have drunk that brand of kool-aid are incredibly loud for their numbers and have more than a few politicians in their pocket. Loudness and shrillness are their tools for appearing to remaining relevant. It’s a force multiplier, if you will.
     
    From everything I’ve read, a true majority of people, while undeniably religious, do not agree with the extreme elements. More extreme positions require membership in much less mainstream aspects of a religion’s sect. By definition, more active and louder, but smaller.
     
    Perhaps it’s like racism in this country, it’s not that people are becoming more racist, it’s just that we underestimated how many were still racist. It took Obama to bring xenophobes out of the wainscotting, and same-sex marriage is bringing out homophobes.
     
    I bet James Bolivar DiGriz is ecstatic they’re out of his wainscotting!

  65. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    @Snoof

    Not just a door, the door of the sheep! Some unintentional self-mockery, there.

  66. David Marjanović says

    The translators of the Septuagint had no such qualms about sophia, as they used it freely in the pertinent passages of Proverbs and Wisdom.

    The Septuagint is also quite a lot older than much of the “wisdom literature”, in some of which the Wisdom of God is personified as, of course, a man who gets to speak about being preexistent & shit. There’s an idea that Christianity came out of this.

  67. CJO says

    The Septuagint is also quite a lot older than much of the “wisdom literature”

    Which? Sirach, for one, was included in it, and it, too, personifies Wisdom as a female figure. I was just puzzled that you construed the choice of the Greek term as somehow constrained by the gender of the Hebrew term. Perhaps I’m misunderstandiong.

    There’s an idea that Christianity came out of this.

    The influence is there, no doubt, particularly in the Johannine texts. But there were other ideas about preexisting agents or emanations, from Enochian texts and the Vision of Isaiah and others, that may have been more conducive to the eschatalogical and messianic message than the more conservative wisdom tradition.