Psalm 61:3

Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; for You have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

One Thing Ken Ham Didn't Say, but Should Have

Tonight came the debate between Ken Ham (creationist) and Bill Nye (evolutionist).  All things considered I thought it was a good debate, a debate from which the people who plan out presidential debates could learn a great many things.

There was one point toward the end where the moderator, who also did a fine job of remaining neutral, asked the two men questions gathered from the audience.  One question in particular caught my attention.  It was directed at Ken Ham.

He was asked if there were any evidence that could be given that would convince him that the Biblical account of creation was false.  I do not recall his exact answer, but effectively he said "no".  No evidence could shake him in his conviction that God created the world in 6 days.

As a Christian, as a 6-day creationist, I was disappointed in this.  Mr Ham did not have the questions beforehand.  He did not have the advantage of hindsight (which I have now).  So I don't want to be too hard on him.  But this is what I think he could have said instead:

"Show me a body."

Show me the dead body of Jesus Christ and I will burn my Bible.  This is, in fact, the gauntlet that the Apostles were throwing down each and every time they preached the resurrection of Jesus to the masses of people who gathered to listen to them.  If Rome wanted to put an end to all of this, if the Jewish ruling council wanted to put the kibosh on this Christian nonsense, all they had to do was produce a dead body.

They didn't.  They couldn't.  And they still can't.

This is where I think Ken Ham missed a golden opportunity.  I don't believe the Bible because it is scientifically correct.  I believe it is correct because a man rose from the dead.  When a man rises from the dead you should probably take seriously the things that He says.  And He says that the account of Genesis 1-2 is true.  So I listen to Him.  I believe His Word.

Christ is risen.  It is a historical fact that changes everything.  And it is the point that Ken didn't get to make, at least not while I watched.

(**Disclaimer: Our live feed cut out about 5 minutes before the end.  I did not see the final few exchanges between Ham and Nye.)

19 comments:

  1. Does it count if I give you the sacrament? j/k Thanks for the post.

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  2. There is no consensus that Jesus actually existed. The lack of a body proves that he wasn't even a real person just as much as it proves that he was beamed into heaven by God.

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    1. [Anonymous from February 5, 2014 at 10:27 PM]
      "There is no consensus that Jesus actually existed."

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus#Existence

      [First paragraph, last 2 sentences]

      However, today virtually all scholars of antiquity agree that Jesus existed and regard events such as his baptism and his crucifixion as historical.[7][231][232] Robert E. Van Voorst and (separately) Michael Grant state that biblical scholars and classical historians now regard theories of the non-existence of Jesus as effectively refuted.[17][18]

      [5 references]

      Biased sites such as rationalwiki will always bend the truth.

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    2. Anonymous, there is wide consensus on the existence of Jesus. Only the most fringe historians doubt his existence. The historical evidence for this is overwhelming, as CQ has pointed out. But thanks for the reply.

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  3. There is just as much proof that Jesus came back from the dead as there is proof that Harry Potter new magic.

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  4. Okay let's just assume that Jesus was just a good teacher that lived on Earth and claimed to be Yahweh, but actually wasn't. Let's say for all intents and purposes that Jesus body really is here on Earth, how would we know if we ever found it? Realistically we could have already found the body of Jesus and not even know it, I could go to any caved used as a tomb in all of Israel and claim it is Jesus body. Christian would always argue because there is really no way to ever know. This argument is nonsensical and unfalsifiable, I actually preferred Kent's answer because at least he was honest about it.

    Oh and accepting evolution as a proven scientific fact doesn't mean you have to burn your Bible. There are plenty of Christians that accept evolution and believe in Yahweh/Jesus.

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  5. In reality there is as much evidence that Jesus existed and did what the Gospel record about him as there is that Julius Caesar existed and did what history says about him.
    Yes, it would be difficult 2000 years after the fact to dig up a body and prove that is was the real Jesus Christ. But this would have been easy for Rome or the Jews of the first century. A few acts of torture could have easily persuaded a lying disciple to spill the beans about where the body was.
    But this subverts my point. I am not simply talking about producing an actual body. The life, death, and resurrection is a relatively close for the study of history, at least in comparison with the creation of the universe. It is falsifiable by the rules of historical study.
    Evolution, on the other hand, is not a falsifiable proposition. All evidence is assimilated as proof, either of the randomness of evolution, or the beauty of it.
    And, accepting evolution does not mean you need to burn your Bible, but losing the resurrection of Jesus does. Try I Corinthians 15. No resurrection equals no Christianity. That means no need to defend the Biblical view of creation.

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    1. "In reality there is as much evidence that Jesus existed"

      Not arguing that, I agree.

      "and did what the Gospel record about him"

      Whoa there, give them an inch and they'll take a mile. There is not historical evidence that Jesus ever did any miracles, especially raising from the dead, and lets not forget the claims of Matt 27:50-53 where all the dead saints left their tombs and went and told everyone what had happened. In fact there is no evidence for any of this though except in the Bible. So no, not much evidence that Jesus did the things written about him.

      "as there is that Julius Caesar existed and did what history says about him"

      You really don't understand this "evidence thing do you? With Julius Caesar we have documents written about him from multiple sources, we have documents he wrote himself, we have statues made of him while he was alive. Jesus? We have nothing except the Bible which were written at earliest 70 years after this death, nothing he wrote himself, no pictures, nothing, if it weren't for the Bible he would probably not even be a footnote in history.

      "Yes, it would be difficult 2000 years after the fact to dig up a body and prove that is was the real Jesus Christ."

      No, it would be impossible, we have nothing to compare anything to. I could dig up an India burial site in America and have as much luck fining the body of Jesus as if I raided tombs in Israel.

      "But this would have been easy for Rome or the Jews of the first century."

      You're assuming that the events recorded in the Bible are completely true and accurate. Again as least they were written 70 year 'after' everything had taken place. So maybe Jesus was a good teacher, his teaching spread a bit, stories turn to legends, and legends turn to religion.

      "The life, death, and resurrection is a relatively close for the study of history, at least in comparison with the creation of the universe."

      I really have no idea what you mean by this, I think what you mean to say is that it would be a lot easier to prove the first premiss than the second in which case I would disagree and say they're are both unfalsifiable and cannot be proven with any about of history or science. Take away the Bible and you got nothing.

      "It is falsifiable by the rules of historical study."

      Falsifiable, I do not think that word means what you think it means. To be falsifiable means that it can be proven to be false, which you can't prove that the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus are false.

      "Evolution, on the other hand, is not a falsifiable proposition."

      Yes it is actually, if you can find some real evidence that contradict evolution then evolution will be proven false.

      "All evidence is assimilated as proof, either of the randomness of evolution, or the beauty of it."

      Uh, what? How about fossils, genetics, diversity of life, mutations, adaptation, seriously the list goes on and on.

      "And, accepting evolution does not mean you need to burn your Bible,"

      Yay we agree on something else

      "but losing the resurrection of Jesus does."

      Okay so by "burn your Bible" I'm going to assume that means "No longer believe that Jesus is Yahweh" and just agree again.

      "Try I Corinthians 15"

      Okay just to let you know, I'm an atheist, which means that I do not believe that the Bible is true, so quoting Bible passages to prove a point won't really do you any good. Prove that the Bible is a reliable source of information and then we'll talk about quoting scripture.

      "No resurrection equals no Christianity."

      No, no Bible would probably equal no Christianity, since you know, there is no evidence for the resurrection of Jesus.

      "That means no need to defend the Biblical view of creation."

      How the heck did you do that? You jump from "Jesus resurrected" claim to "therefore creation is true". That was impressive sir.

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    2. The life, death and resurrection of Jesus is as falsifiable as any other historical event from his day. And if you are going to throw out the Gospels based upon a bias against them and not based on any historical evidence then I don't think we have much to talk about.

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    3. I didn't say I was throwing out the gospels, I said they are the only evidence you have to support what you believe and they are not extremely reliable. Also could you please tell me how the resurrection of Jesus Christ is falsifiable?

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    4. Explain how the gospels are not reliable.

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  6. I do not believe that the Roman authorities dealt with trouble makers by logically refuting their beliefs with evidence. They dealt with trouble makers by rounding them up and nailing them to crosses.

    Moreover, my guess is that the early Christians would have dealt with the evidence of a body in much the same way that Ken Ham deals with the evidence for evolution. They would have said "That must be some other crucifixion victim's body because we know that Jesus' tomb was empty. We don't care how much it looks like Jesus' body because we know that what God has revealed to us is true."

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    1. Your guess may be valid. Is it evidence based, or just random?

      Rome wasted a lot of energy and resources combating the Christians who, against all odds, gained in popularity in a pagan empire. Furthermore, it was not only Rome, but the Jewish authorities who could have done this. One would guess that they could tell their tactics were not working and try something different. They didn't. Why not? They couldn't.

      But again, this fails to deal with the historical evidence for Jesus' life, ministry, death and resurrection. The historical record is clear. It is as valid as any other historical event of the day.

      The resurrection is not an event that people took on blind faith. They listened to the testimony of eye-witnesses. They weighed the evidence and acknowledged the truth. The resurrection does not need to be taken on faith. What takes faith is believing that this resurrection has anything to do with YOU.

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    2. My guess is based on people like Ham and people like William Lane Craig who says that the witness of the Holy Spirit in his heart gives him confirmation of the truth of Christianity that is completely independent of the evidence. It is based on the history of other religious groups that maintained belief in their revelations despite disconfirming evidence.

      Given the Jewish view of corpses as unclean, digging up graves and parading around human remains would have been something they wished to avoid at all costs. By the time all other options for dealing with the Christians had been exhausted, it is unlikely that the corpse would be recognizable.

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    3. So what you are really saying is that your hypothesis that Jesus did not rise from the dead is not falsifiable. I agree.

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  7. No. What I am saying is that "nobody produced a body" is a weak reason for believing that Jesus really rose from the dead.

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    1. True. It is not my reason for believing. It is one reason for further investigation.

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