Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Questionable Answers

ChristiaNet.com, self-described as "the world's largest Christian portal with twelve million monthly page loads," has conducted an internet poll asking, "Is the Earth billions of years old?"

Out of 797 polled, 43% believed the Earth is less than billions of years old. The vast majority of this group felt the Earth is between 6,000 and 12,000 years old.

On the other hand, 30% of the Christians who responded to the survey agreed that the Earth was billions of years old, basing their belief variously on science and/or the "gap theory" or the "day-age theory" of Biblical interpretation. A whopping 27% said they weren't sure.

ChristiaNet was so unnerved by these results that it created an "Evolution Quiz" to educate wayward Christians. Not only science but the gap theory and the day-age theory all get short shrift. But some of the questions and answers are rather strange.

You can find the usual arguments, such as:

1. The Bible tells us that those who believe there is no Creator are fools.

The correct answer is True.

Psalm 14:1 - The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.


6. Dinosaurs are not mentioned in the Bible.

The correct answer is False.

Job 40:15-18 - Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee; he eateth grass as an ox. Lo now, his strength is in his loins, and his force is in the navel of his belly. He moveth his tail like a cedar: the sinews of his stones are wrapped together. His bones are as strong pieces of brass; his bones are like bars of iron.

But there is stranger stuff:

8. Gravity was created by God; He hung the earth upon nothing.

The correct answer is True.

Job 26:7 - He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing.

I'll be damned ... um, okay, I guess that's a given ... but I had no idea that gravity was part of evolutionary theory.

20. Plants wither and fade, but do not die.

The correct answer is True.

Jeremiah 12:4 - And the herbs of every field wither.

I guess that is supposed to follow from this one:

19. Life is in blood bearing creatures, not plants.

The correct answer is True.

Leviticus 17:11 - For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls.

But what do either have to do with evolution? It seems to be a quibble over the definition of "life," but what does it mean to evolutionary theory? Can unwithered but still "dead" plants evolve where "living" things can't? Is there something about "blood" that keeps evolution from happening? But, most of all, what are we to make of this?

23. Life developed from non-life.
The correct answer is False.
Genesis 1:12 - And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
But plants aren't alive, right? Or if they are, is the Earth supposed to be alive too? Or are they talking about God being biologically alive? But then He'd have to have blood.

It's clear as mud made from the dust that is so much better to be descended from than an ape.

Bah, it's just playing free-association games with random passages so they can say the Bible is all scientific.
I don't know why they are so concerned to show that the Bible mentions dinosaurs, when it is clear that the Bible does not mention the vast majority of the world of life: Microbes - two domains of prokaryotes as well as various sorts of microscopic eukaryotes. Internal parasites and symbionts are not included in the days of creation, for they are neither creatures of the seas, nor of the air, nor of the land.

Anyway, it is clear that the Bible does mention lots of dinosaurs - the birds.
... it's just playing free-association games with random passages ...

PZ has an example of the same sort of thing, where someone took the scenario of clays possibly serving as catalysts in the origin of life as corresponding to the creation of people from clay in the book of Genesis. It's an attempt to shoehorn the facts of the world into our preexisting beliefs. But that's something we all do ... including scientists. It's the reason that individual scientists aren't all that accurate. It takes the action of the scientific community to remove those sorts of biases.

I don't know why they are so concerned to show that the Bible mentions dinosaurs

I think Ham answered that when he said something to the effect of 'children really like (non-avian) dinosaurs and evolutionists have used that as a way to indoctrinate them into science.' The whole idea of Ham's "museum" is to merely place dinosaurs in proximity to apologetics.
They do have one (very odd) question correct:

"Different races evolved from different animal species.
The correct answer is False."

Unfortunately their reasoning isn't great:

"Genesis 11:9 - Therefore is the name Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth."
Yeah, I almost included that one because I can't for the life of me figure out why they chose the story of Babel over everyone being descended from Adam and Eve as an explanation. Do they think people make race distinctions on language? But I decided that I had to limit myself in the amount of reported strangeness or risk overloading Blogger. ;-)
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