Where Creationism Goes Wrong

The Expulsion of Adam and Eve. Artist: Benjamin West. (1791). Source: Wikimedia.

The Expulsion of Adam and Eve. Benjamin West. (1791). Wikimedia.

If you’re not a creationist, the temptation might be to finish the title of this post with “on everything.” So go ahead. Say it aloud and you’ll probably feel better.

In my recent article, “‘There is a book,’ but Ken Ham has no idea how to read it,” at Toledo Faith & Values (our local hub of the Religion News Service), I look at creationism’s many issues, especially from the position of an academic reading of Genesis that takes into consideration discoveries related to the writing and dating of the Torah.

Raised a creationist, I get the desire to protect the Bible or “defend the truth,” as some might prefer to say, but it results in serious issues for both science and biblical studies. In fact, this view is unnatural to the original context of the Bible and—as I see it— even makes it less interesting.

…when Ham was asked about his literal reading of the Bible in his debate with Nye, he launched into a discussion of genre, noting that he preferred the word “natural” rather than “literal.” There is much to unpack in that use of the word “natural.”

The fact is that Ken Ham’s reading of the Bible is really not natural in any sense of the word. Creationism is problematic on two fronts. It interprets the Bible in a way that makes it — as literature belonging to a particular historical context — incomprehensible or unnatural for the original ancient reader. It also turns science — which needs to follow the best and most current evidence — into something that can’t explain the natural world. Read the full article here.

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