Pharyngula

Ham is rich in irony

The LA Times did a story on those wacky Catholic geocentrists who read the Bible and insist that, by a literal interpretation of the words therein, the earth must be at the center of the universe, with everything else rotating about it. They quote verses and everything, so actually, in a very literal sense, they’re right that the Bible does imply a very strange folk physics. But the story had to go further, and got a quote from…Ken Ham.

Ken Ham.

I guess it’s kind of appropriate. You’re doing a story about goofy literalist lunatics, and he is one of the biggest. But still, it seems like there ought to be some recognition that one is digging into a dunghill for weird quotes when you pick up the phone and call Answers in Genesis.

“There’s a big difference between looking at the origin of the planets, the solar system and the universe and looking at presently how they move and how they are interrelated,” Ham said. “The Bible is neither geocentric or heliocentric. It does not give any specific information about the structure of the solar system.”

Ham is usually adamant that one must interpret the Bible literally, word by word, but I guess this is a case that shows he’s actually one of those cafeteria Christians.

If he’s going to bend on this, though, I have to point out that the chapters of Genesis that he relies on for his insistence on a young earth are very brief, contain no detail and vast amounts of ambiguity, and that the Bible is also silent on how species are structured and interrelated. If he insists on using it as a science text to discuss biology, a topic that is not at all emphasized or even properly described in the book, I don’t think he can complain at another fringe religious group that decides to use it as an astronomy textbook — they’re both doing exactly the same thing.

(Also on FtB)