Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Farah’s Absurd Religio-Babble

You gotta love Joseph Farah, grand poobah of the Worldnutdaily; he can always be counted on to bring the crazy. In his latest column he’s blathering on about what the Bible says about illegal immigration. Quick answer: not a damn thing. Farah’s answer: well, you’re gonna love it. Especially this part about the Tower of Babel and Noah’s Flood:

Nations were first established by God as a judgment in Genesis 11. Remember the Tower of Babel story? It seems there was a man named Nimrod who attempted to set up the first world government and the first false religion.

After the Flood, God had decreed that man should scatter across the whole earth and be fruitful and multiply. But this large contingent of men, about 100 years after the Flood, decided, under the leadership of Nimrod, whose very name means “let us revolt or rebel,” they would settle in Shinar and build a tower to make a name for themselves.

So according to Farah, the Tower of Babel was built 100 years after the flood. But remember that at the end of the flood, there were only 8 people on the entire earth, and two of them (Noah and his wife) were allegedly 600 years old. So repopulation of the earth began with a mere 6 people. Henry Morris, the famous young earth creationist who founded the Institute for Creation Research, demonstrates perfectly how one can play with numbers and assumptions on population density at that time:

The Tower of Babel seems to have been built about the time of the birth of Peleg (whose name, meaning “division,” probably was given by his father Eber in commemoration of that event; Gen. 10:25) 101 years after the Flood. Using the same constants as above, the population at this time would have been only 85 people (using equation 2). It is possible that at least I generation is missing in the genealogy of Peleg as given in Genesis 10:21-25 and 11: 10- 16. In the corresponding record in Luke 3:35-36, the name of Cainan is inserted between those of Arphaxad and Salah.

If we assume that, in the course of transcribing the lists in the Old Testament, a man’s name somehow was omitted from the Received Text, but that his name was preserved in the Septuagint version from which Luke obtained his data, this would mean I more generation in the interim from the Flood to Babel. On this basis, the population would be 340.

This is probably still too small, but the assumed family size of 8 may very well be too small for the early centuries after the Flood. Assuming an average family of 10 children gives a population at Babel of over 700. An average of 12 children gives 1,250. Both these figures assume 40-year generations, with, therefore, 3.5 generations from the Flood to Babel.

Since there are 70 nations mentioned in Genesis 10 as resulting from the “division” at Babel, it is reasonable to infer that there were 70 families at Babel, representing probably the generation of Noah’s grandsons and great-grandsons. Seventy families containing 800 or 1,000 individuals altogether seem to fit the situation described at Babel very adequately.

This is quite slippery, of course. His range is from 80 to 7000, quite an immense range. 6 people do not turn into 7000 in a hundred years without some seriously weird math and a lot of mad humping. There would have been a few hundred people, tops, on the entire planet at the time of the Tower of Babel, and a sizable portion of those would have been either children or the elderly, unable to work on the project.

And keep in mind that at the same time, there were thriving civilizations in China, Egypt, Scandinavia and South America, at the very least. The notion that all of this was going on a mere 100 years after the human population was reduced to zero is simply laughable. But no more laughable than Farah’s next argument:

Make no mistake about it: Nation-states are an invention of the Creator – a deliberately chosen device to serve His purposes.

That’s what we’re told in Acts 17:26-27: That God “hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord.”

Ultimately, the purpose of nation-states seems to be to restrain Satan’s efforts at creating his kingdom on earth. That will happen eventually – only when God Himself permits it in His timing, as shown in Revelation 17:17: “For God hath put in their hearts to fulfill his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.” But nation-states serve another purpose as well – to be God’s instruments on earth for meting out justice and providing protection for the people. (Deuteronomy 17:14-17)

Here’s what I don’t get. Farah spends a great deal of his time ranting about the UN and Bush’s alleged plan for a North American Union and how it undermines the American nation-state. But here he admits that it’s all part of God’s plan for nation-states to go away and for a one-world government to take over to usher in the end times. So why, exactly, is Farah fighting against God’s plan? How does he know that “God himself” is permitting this to happen “in His timing”? I don’t know, Joe. I wouldn’t be trying to foil God’s plan if I were you.