Today’s Reading: Psalm 115 & Jeremiah 7:4
Having read the post on Naturalis Historia about the release of information on H. naledi, I knew it would not be long before Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis (AiG) voiced their collective judgment on the finding. Moreover, I knew what that judgment would be in advance. I am prescient that way. For Ham and AiG, This discovery would change nothing.
@aigkenham The discovery of the supposed human ancestor changes nothing about our understanding of human history: ow.ly/S3CpV September 10 4:00pm
Now, I am no evolutionary biologist or anthropologist and so I rely on the experts to inform me of the significance of a find like this one. Moreover, I realize that once a finding is released whether a fossil discovery, an experiment, or long term data collection that is only the beginning of the discussion. It is like the opening statement in a debate. At present, the scholarly argument seems to be over the age of the fossils and the big mystery is why there are so many hominid remains in this remote cave. Was it a ritual burial site? (See the National Geographic article.)
So, how is it that Ken Ham and AiG can already speak definitively and decisively on new data the day it is released? It is because they are a closed system. As much as Ham insists that they are engaged in legitimate scientific research and appeals to the many PhDs associated with his organization. AiG is not doing science at all.
Of course, Ken Ham declares that their own team of “Bible-believing scientists are even now reviewing the two studies published in eLife journal.” Yet, he has already declared that it will have no influence on their beliefs. For Ken Ham and AiG, either the fossil is human or it is some kind of “ape-like” creature. It cannot be any transitional form. So, what are the AiG scientists doing? Like politicians, they are reviewing the data in order to give it the best Young Earth Creationist spin. They are not weighing the new evidence against their hypothesis.
In their own publications, these scientists clearly state that they will hold to their interpretation of Scripture (which is neither the only interpretation of Scripture nor a reasonable interpretation of Scripture) even if the evidence “seems” to contradict their belief that the cosmos is less than 7,000 years old.
No one states it more clearly than Geologist Kurt P. Wise as he concludes his contribution to the Answers in Genesis publication In Six Days: Why 50 Scientists Choose to Believe in Creation,
Although there are scientific reasons for accepting a young earth, I am a young-age creationist because that is my understanding of the Scripture. As I shared with my professors years ago when I was in college, if all the evidence in the universe turned against creationism, I would be the first to admit it, but I would still be a creationist because that is what the Word of God seems to indicate. . . Here I must stand.
This approach to the world and evidence is neither good science nor good theology. It is the equivalent of the establishment rejecting Jeremiah’s words of warning and political signs because YHWH would never destroy his Temple. As Israel had made an idol of the Temple, so Ken Ham and AiG have made an idol of the Bible.
“The Temple of the LORD. The Temple of the LORD.”
“The Word of God. The Word of God.”
Related Posts: How to Teach Genesis One, Ham-Handed Hermeneutics I: Reading the Church Fathers I, Ham-Handed Hermeneutics 2: Reading the Church Fathers II, Ken Ham’s Humean Skepticism, The Heresy of Ham, Why [my friend] is Not Teaching This Year and the Heresy of Ham, What Evolution Is