Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Criticisms of Hugh Ross

I came across this comment from Lenny Flank about one of Hugh Ross’ recent books and I thought I’d post it. Let me make clear up front that I have not read the book in question, so I can only go by Lenny’s account of what it says. If that is accurate, I think it gives a pretty good idea of what Hugh Ross’ conception of “testability” is:

Ross’s recent book (co-authored with two other fundie kooks) is entitled “Lights In the Sky and Little Green Men: A Rational Christian Look at UFO’s and Extraterrestrials” (NavPress, Colorado Springs CO, 2002).

Over several chapters, Ross dismisses, on scientific and Biblical grounds, the existence of any life other than terrestrial. But, he declares, there are so many reliable UFO reports that they can’t all be mistakes or hoaxes (he calls the remaining reliable reports (“Residual UFO’s”). His “rational Christian” conclusion is something he calls the “trans-dimensional hypothesis”—flying sacuers are actually entities that come from “beyond our space and time dimensions” and which, although real entities, are not physical beings. OK, so what ARE the flying saucers, then? Hear the gospel according to Ross: “It can now be determined who is behind the RUFO experiences. Only one kind of being favors the dead of night and lonely roads. Only one is real but nonphysical, animate, powerful, deceptive, ubiquitous throughout human history, culture, and geography, and bent on wreaking psychological and physical harm. Only one entity selectively approaches those humans involved in cultic, occultic or New Age activities. It seems apparent that residual UFO’s, in one or more ways, must be associated with the activities of demons.” (pages 122-123).

Want to see how Ross’s “UFO’s come from the Devil” hypothesis can be scientifically tested? Well, we flip to page 124 and find: “The conlcusion that demons are behind the residual UFO phenomenon is a testible one.” Ross points out that “according to the Bible” demons only can attack people who dip into the occult and make themsleves vulnerable. Ross declares, “All that is necessary to further prove the conclusions of demonic involvement, therefore, is to continue surveying people to ascertain who has encounters with residual UFO’s and who does not. If the demonic idenficiation of the RUFO phenomenon is correct, researchers should continue to observe a correlation between the degree of invitations in a person’s life to demonic attacks (for example, participation in seances, Uija games, astrology, spiritualism, witchcraft, palm reading, and psychicreading) and the proximity of their residual UFO encounters.” (Ross of course neglects to mention another possible reason for these “correlations” — people who believe one goofy thing are more prone to believe other goofy things as well.)

And why is that scientists and other researchers decline to study Ross’s, uh, “theory”? Why, because they’re all ATHEISTS, silly: “One reason why research scientists and others may be reluctant to say that demons exist behind residual UFO’s is because such an answer points too directly to a Christian interpretation of the problem.” (page 125)

(Does this sound familiar to anybody? Is there some other topic that Ross thinks involves the supernatural, but nobody takes seriously because they are all atheists … . ?)

Believe it or not, though, Ross isn’t the first creationut to yammer about flying saucers and the Devil. Creationist theologian Norman Geisler was one of the witnesses at the Arkansas creationism trial back in 1982. During his pre-trial deposition, Geisler was asked if he believed in a real Devil. Yes, he replied, he did, and cited some Biblical verses as confirmation. The conversation then went:

Q. Are there, sir, any other evidences for that belief besides certain passages of Scripture?

GEISLER: Oh, yes. I have known personally at least 12 persons who were clearly possessed by the Devil. And then there are the UFOs.

Q. The UFOs? Why are they relevant to the existence of the Devil?

GEISLER: Well, you see, they represent the Devil’s major, in fact, final attack on the earth.

Q. Oh. And sir, may I ask how you know, as you seem to know, that there are UFOs?

GEISLER: I read it in the Readers Digest.

At trial, Geisler testified under oath (apparently with a straight face) that flying saucers were “Satanic manifestations for the purposes of deception”.

I would add that Kent Hovind often discusses a similar idea. He has often mentioned in his seminars, and sold copies of, a book that claimed that UFOs were “Satanically owned and operated” and that they were used to transport Satan from place to place because, unlike God, he can’t be in all places at all times. I can’t even begin to parody that sort of thing.

For more criticisms of Hugh Ross’ work, see this article by Mark Perakh. Or see the following articles by old friend Glenn Morton:

Hugh Ross’ Petroleum: God’s Well-timed Gift
Ross and Rana Mistakes About H. Floresiensis
The Flawed Anthropological Views of Reasons to Believe
“The Genesis Question,” by Hugh Ross

Comments

  1. #1 Matthew
    December 26, 2005

    Is Kent Hovind the guy who made the children’s dinosaur park?

  2. #2 spyder
    December 27, 2005

    now i wonder what Hugh would make of this story???

    The basic molecules of life are scattered through the universe, collecting in faraway galactic clouds, on passing comets and asteroids, and on the planets here in our solar system.

    But scientists still don’t know how these molecules came to be, or how they originally came together to form life. Now, for the first time ever, astronomers have found some of the basic compounds necessary to build organic molecules and proteins found in DNA within the inner regions of a planet-forming disk.

    “We see prebiotic organic molecules in comets and the gas giant planets in our own solar system and wonder, where did these chemicals come from?” said Marc Kassis, support astronomer at the W.M. Keck Observatory. “The Spitzer Space Telescope is letting us study these young stellar objects in new and revealing ways, giving us exciting clues about where life may form in the universe.”
    http://msnbc.msn.com/id/10550906/

  3. #3 jackrussell
    December 28, 2005

    The guy is right in a funny sort of way. Throughout history, when people have been culturally stressed out, they have produced delusions of demons, witches, angels, & UFOs. These delusions are a way of objectifying one’s fears & hopes in the absence of rationality & most modern Americans are handicapped by an absence of rationality.