Joel Watts, the misguided theology student who would rather Kentucky open up a porn shop than the Biblically-affirming Ark Encounter, has recently commented on an exchange between Rev. Paul Wallace and Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis.
Rev. Wallace made the following statement:
“But there are other kinds of illiteracy. There is, for example, scientific illiteracy. It too is a problem in America. And there is evidence that it is related to religious beliefs. This is hardly surprising. When one is raised to see science as the enemy of faith; when churches actively work against science education; when a literal understanding of Genesis is a requirement for faculty at major seminaries, scientific literacy suffers.
It is easy to blame extreme anti-science people like Albert Mohler and Ken Ham for this problem, and some responsibility does fall on them.”
Rev. Wallace displays the usual willful ignorance regarding what evolution means. He erroneously equates the term evolution with both observable horizontal biological change [e.g. speciation, mutation, adaptation, natural selection, etc] which both Creationists and evolutionists affirm with theoretical, unobservable vertical [phyletic] biological changes [e.g. dinos-to-birds, ungulates-to-whales, microbes-to-man evolution], because he’s been told they are one and the same. In essence, he’s swallowed Theodosius Dobzhansky’s Grand Assumption. In 1937 Theodosius Dobzhansky, one of the architects of the Modern Evolutionary Synthesis [the sort of evolution that's current taught in textbooks], wrote in Genetics and the Origin of Species:
“There is no way toward an understanding of the mechanism of macroevolutionary changes, which require time on a geological scale, other than through a full comprehension of the microevolutionary processes observable within the human lifetime. For this reason we are compelled at the present level of knowledge reluctantly to put a sign of equality between the mechanisms of micro- and macroevolution, and proceeding on this assumption, to push our investigations as far ahead as this working hypothesis will permit.” [emphasis mine]
Because he’s been misled to make this assumption that observable biological change eventually leads to proposed unobservable biological change, he sees any denial of the latter as a denial of science. Of course, Creationists aren’t anti-science. Most of the scientific disciplines were actually founded by Bible-affirming scientists. These scientists wanted to “think God’s thoughts after Him.” Unfortunately, today’s scientists conduct science by pure naturalism. Unlike, the founders of science, they have forgotten that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge, and since they do not even like to think of God, they suppress the truth in unrighteousness and have become, in essence, willfully ignorant of the truth of Creation, the Fall and the Flood. But chaining science to pure naturalism prevents science from being the search for truth; rather it becomes the search for all-natural answers, which may or may not be true, and are most certainly false where supernatural agency was actually responsible as related in the Bible. In such cases where supernatural agency was actually responsible, scientists actually make up all-natural Just-so stories to account for observable phenomena; they turn from truth to fables.
Ignorance of the presuppositions behind modern science and this tendency to conflate microbes-to-man evolution with observable biological change, or worse with science itself has created genuine confusion over the issues. This is a failure to make a distinction between historical/origins science and operational science, which is what Ken Ham pointed out in his rebuttal via a Facebook post:
“Once again, this writer does not understand (or deliberately misleads concerning this issue) the difference between observational science that we all agree on–that builds our technology, and historical science–which is one’s belief about the past (history). The disagreement is not really over observational science, but over historical science–whether one believes man’s fallible view of millions of years of supposed history, or God’s revelation as given in the Scriptures concerning the history of the universe.”
Of course, Brother Joel takes the cake when it comes to willful ignorance, calling Ken Ham and myself “radical liberals,” and claiming that we actually stand against Biblical authority! Talk about calling good “evil” and evil “good.” For example, his comments on this exchange between Rev. Wallace and Ken Ham betray a willful ignorance concerning what historical science means:
“See – Ham doesn’t even know what science actually is. Historical science, such as blood letting to get rid of the plague, is no longer considered actual science. Neither is flat earth or geocentricism, which are both “biblical.” What Ham believes is Science actually is his own personal reading of Scripture, or theology, This is not science. Science is a well documented body of evidence which supports theories. Science is not “The bible tells me so..”
Wow. He conflated historical science with discredited science, when it actually concerns science which deals with the unobservable past. Of course, the history of science is littered with discredited theories, like the aforementioned bloodletting, Lamarckism and even Darwin’s theory of gemmules and pangenesis [read Origins, folks]. Science is supposed to be self-correcting. That’s not what Creationists mean by historical science. Again, we’re simply talking about science that deals with past, unobservable phenomena which are not directly testable via the scientific method. Joel Watts knows this; he’s purposely trying to mislead you.
Just as he tries to poison the well by saying that the Bible teaches geocentrism and a flat earth. These straw man arguments concerning the Bible have been so oft-refuted. He insists on a woodenly literal interpretation of Scripture when those who actually affirm a literal interpretation allow for figures of speach, round numbers, etc. In essence, he’s creating a straw man argument. Interestingly enough, in stating that the Bible teaches that the universe revolves arouns a flat earth [it doesn't], is Brother Joel upholding or undermining Biblical authority?
Rather than placing our own personal interpretation on the Bible, we are letting it speak for itself; rather than reading into it what we want it to say, as Bible doubters like Brother Joel do, we creationists draw the meaning out. We believe that God revealed His Word and wanted it to be understood plainly. Our position on special creation in six calendar days and a world-covering Flood in the days of Noah is the traditional, apostolic teaching of the Church; novel views that allow for millions of years of microbes-to-man evolution are not. So who is willfully ignorant of Church history here?
Science is not as Joel Science is not “a well documented body of evidence which supports theories,” for this would imply that evidence is self-interpretive. Science is an interpretation of the evidence and if science has refused to begin with the Bible, if it has rejected the truth that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge, and seeks instead to find all-natural answers in defiance of the obvious design of the universe, these wrong assumptions will lead it to wrong conclusions.
And Brother Joel and others like him, by denying what the Bible so clearly teaches, will lead many astray. I caution him that this same Bible declares that all liars will have their part in the lake of fire. How will these wolves in sheep’s clothing escape the damnation of hell? It is such teaching that contributes much to the Biblical illiteracy of this age and further undermines Biblical authority.
These false teachers give lipservice to the Gospel and Biblical authority, but they undermine it at every chance. Jesus warned of such in Matthew 7:15-23:
“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Jesus warned in Matthew 12:33-35:
“Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things
These modern-day vipers echo the question of the Edenic Serpent, “Did God really say that?” As Satan caused Eve to doubt God’s Word in the Garden, so they do today. And in case folks who compromise apostolic Biblical teaching have any question as to whose side they’re really on, Jesus warned that:
“He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.” [Matthew 12:20; Luke 11:23]
We dare not remain silent in the face of such error. A little leaven leavens the lump. Though some men may decry us as causing unnecessary division where it comes to the issue of Biblical authority, we remind them that the Bible says, “First pure, then peaceable.” Enemies of Biblical authority would like us to be silent while they proclaim such lies. They would like to brand us divisive, unloving troublemakers for daring to name those who take a low view of Scripture. This new evangelical tolerance will tolerate any manner of sin or compromise except the “sin” of naming it and rebuking it, as Ken Ham well knows. Yet we must not be silent. We must daily and intentionally meet our foe, within and without, with the everlasting truth of God’s revealed Word and ever more effectually reach a lost and dying world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ the Creator, Savior and Lord of Lords!
In this regard, Ken Ham’s final comment on Rev. Wallace’s post is most instructive:
“Actually, because so many Christian leaders have compromised God’s Word with millions of years and evolution, and there has been such a lack of authoritative teaching–and a lack of teaching apologetics so generations can defend the Christian faith against the secular attacks of our day–that is one of the major reasons why there is terrible biblical illiteracy in the church. It is views like those of this blogger that actually contribute to the illiteracy problem.”
Rev Tony Breeden