As we’ve said before, if people like Ken Ham ever understood why Flat Earthers fall for something so obviously wrong, maybe he’ll realize what the rest of us have been saying about him this whole time.
But I’ve never seen it explained quite this way.
In June, Dr. Danny R. Faulkner, the resident astronomer at Answers in Genesis, published an essay all about the absurdity of the Flat Earth movement. We could go in depth and talk about why that article is equally silly, but writer and teacher Jay Johnson went a different direction.
He replaced some of the words specific to the Flat Earth movement in Faulkner’s essay with words specific to the Young Earth Creationism movement.
“Flat Earth” became “Young Earth.”
“Shape” became “Age.”
“A sphere” and “a globe” became “old.”
“Astronomy” became “geology.”
Those are all fair swaps. And this is what Faulkner’s essay now looks like:
Young-earthers raise an excellent epistemological question: how do we know what age is the earth? For three decades, I asked this very question of students in the first semester of my introductory geology class. The context of this question was the early history of geology. I would ask my students what age they thought the earth had. All my students would answer that the earth was old… When I asked my students how they knew the earth was old, not one student could give me a good reason.
… It seems that the conspiracy to hide the earth’s true age is the motherlode of conspiracies. All other conspiracies easily are subsumed by this one.
But young-earthers typically are undeterred by such advice. They dismiss it as the mere teaching of a man. They proudly proclaim that they want to stick solely with what the Bible says. They fail to understand the importance of sound teaching taught in the very Bible they profess to uphold… It never occurs to young-earthers that they may be wrong in their understanding of the Bible. Nor does it occur to them that they have set themselves up as authorities on the meaning of the Bible, but their approach completely undermines the possibility of such an authority in the first place.
Some young-earthers also fashion themselves to be experts on science and the methodology of science. Consequently, they think of themselves as competent to dictate to scientists, both godly and ungodly, on how science ought to be conducted. But their definitions and practice of science appear to be formulated to make science as generally understood impossible.
Where do these young-earthers get the notion that they are capable of rewriting so many disciplines of study? This is particularly galling when one considers the limited science education that most young-earthers seem to have achieved. Their ready stock answer is that they haven’t been indoctrinated by all those years of study. These young-earthers fail to realize that without all that study, they don’t even understand what they criticize.
This raises the question of whether the Christian version of the young-earth movement is a cult. The young-earth movement has some elements of a cult. Young-earthers insist that their understanding of the Bible is the only true meaning of Scripture, dismissing all others as the mere teachings of men at best, and at worst, the work of the devil. This is the major defining characteristic of a cult… Furthermore, a cult usually is led by a central figure. As of yet, there is not a single person who seems to be leading the Christian version of the young-earth movement.
We could play this game for a while, but I think you get the idea.
The end result is the same: Everything Faulkner criticizes about Flat Earthers could easily be turned on himself.
As the website The Natural Historian puts it, Johnson’s cut-and-replace strategy shows that “Faulkner has inadvertently written one of the most articulate cases against young-earth creationism.”
Who wants to tell Ken Ham?
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