The New Answers Book Volume 3: Over 35 Questions on Creation/Evolution and the Bible

By: Ken Ham
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The newest title in this best-selling series compiled by Ken Ham, leading a powerful group of contributors to answer some of the most compelling questions of science and the Bible. From the outer edges of the known universe to the moment life begins, this continuing collection of answers will make an incredible impact on your life and your personal journey of faith.

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Introduction: Evolving Tactics

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Introduction

Evolving Tactics

Ken Ham

Over the past 30 years of my personal, intimate experience in the biblical creation ministry, I have observed "evolving" (in the sense of "changing") tactics used by prominent secularists to respond to arguments from creationist scholars and researchers. Based on my experience, I would divide the interactions of biblical creationists and outspoken secularists into four basic eras.

The Debate Era of the 1970s

When I first became aware of the U.S. creation movement in the 1970s (while I was a teacher in Australia), I learned that Duane Gish (Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley) of the Institute for Creation Research was actively debating evolutionary scientists from various academic institutions.

At that time, creationist arguments against evolution consisted of arguments against so-called ape-men, and arguments that the Cambrian Explosion and lack of transitional forms illustrated that Darwinian evolution did not happen.

Evolutionists argued back with supposed counters to these arguments. For instance, they claimed that Archaeopteryx was a transitional form between reptiles and birds (since refuted), that the "mammal-like reptiles" were transitional forms, and so on. However, in the long run, such "evidences" were just interpreted differently by both sides according to their starting points — creation or evolution!

 

1. Where Was the Garden of Eden Located?

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Where Was the Garden of Eden Located?

Ken Ham

Most Bible commentaries state that the site of the Garden of Eden was in the Middle East, situated somewhere near where the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers are today. This is based on the description given in Genesis 2:814:

The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden. ... Now a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it parted and became four riverheads. The name of the first is Pishon. ... The name of the second river is Gihon. ... The name of the third river is Hiddekel [Tigris]. ... The fourth river is the Euphrates.

Even the great theologian John Calvin struggled over the exact location of the Garden of Eden. In his commentary on Genesis he states:

Moses says that one river flowed to water the garden, which afterwards would divide itself into four heads. It is sufficiently agreed among all, that two of these heads are the Euphrates and the Tigris; for no one disputes that ... (Hiddekel) is the Tigris. But there is a great controversy respecting the other two. Many think, that Pison and Gihon are the Ganges and the Nile; the error, however, of these men is abundantly refuted by the distance of the positions of these rivers. Persons are not wanting who fly across even to the Danube; as if indeed the habitation of one man stretched itself from the most remote part of Asia to the extremity of Europe. But since many other celebrated rivers flow by the region of which we are speaking, there is greater probability in the opinion of those who believe that two of these rivers are pointed out, although their names are now obsolete. Be this as it may, the difficulty is not yet solved. For Moses divides the one river which flowed by the garden into four heads. Yet it appears, that the fountains of the Euphrates and the Tigris were far distant from each other.[1]

 

2. What Did Noah's Ark Look Like?

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What Did Noah’s Ark Look Like?

Tim Lovett (with bodie hodge)

Most of us have seen various depictions of Noah’s ark — from the large, box-like vessel to the one in children’s nurseries with the giraffes’ heads sticking out the top. But what did the ark really look like? Can we really know for sure?

Depicting the Ark — A Sign of the Times?

Figure 1. Artist’s depiction of the construction of Noah’s ark, from H. Schedel’s Nuremburg Chronicle of 1493.

Noah’s ark has been a popular subject for artists throughout the centuries. However, it is not easy to adequately depict this vessel because the description in Genesis 6 is very brief. To paint a complete picture, the artist must assume some important details.

As the invention of Gutenberg’s movable-type printing press in the 1400s made rapid and widespread distribution of the Holy Scriptures possible, Noah’s ark quickly became the subject of lavish illustrations. Many designs were pictured, and some were more biblical than others. Often, artists distorted the biblical specifications to match the ships of the day. For instance, the picture shown in figure 1 has the hull of a caravel, which was similar to two of the small sailing vessels used by Christopher Columbus in 1492.

 

3. Should Christians Be Pushing to Have Creation Taught in Government Schools?

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Should Christians Be Pushing to Have Creation Taught in Government Schools?

Ken Ham and Roger Patterson

Although this item specifically targets public schools in the United States, the principles can be applied to any school system in any country.

There have been a number of recent, highly controversial instances involving school boards discussing the topic of creation/evolution in the government-run school classroom, in science textbook disclaimers, and so on.

On the one hand, it’s encouraging to see the increasing interest from citizens to put pressure on school boards deciding what is taught in the classrooms. The humanist elites are livid that this is even a topic for discussion. They want a monopoly on the teaching of molecules-to-man evolution in the public school science classrooms. On the other hand, if creation were taught in the science classrooms, would it be taught accurately and respectfully by a qualified individual?

The Issue

Public school teachers know that they can critically discuss different theories in regard to just about every issue — but not evolution. Even if a school board simply wants evolution to be critically analyzed (a good teaching technique, after all) without even mentioning creation or the Bible, the American Civil Liberties Union and other humanists are immediately up in arms. There are the usual accusations of trying to get "religion" into schools and that it’s a front for what they label as "fundamentalist Christianity."

 

4. What Are ""Kinds"" in Genesis?

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What Are "Kinds" in Genesis?

Dr. Georgia Purdom and Bodie Hodge

Zonkeys, Ligers, and Wholphins, Oh My!" Although not exactly the same mantra that the travelers in the classic Wizard of Oz repeat, these names represent real life animals just the same. In fact, two of these strange-sounding animals, a zonkey and a zorse, can now be seen at the new Creation Museum petting zoo. But what exactly are these animals and how did they come to be? Are they new species? Can the Bible explain such a thing?

What Is a "Kind"?

Figure 1. Zonkey and zorse at the Creation Museum

The first thing that needs to be addressed is: "What is a kind?" Often, people are confused into thinking that a "species" is a "kind." But this isn’t necessarily so. A species is a man-made term used in the modern classification system. And frankly, the word species is difficult to define, whether one is a creationist or not! There is more on this word and its definition and relationship to "kinds" later in this chapter. The Bible uses the term "kind." The Bible’s first use of this word (Hebrew: min) is found in Genesis 1 when God creates plants and animals "according to their kinds." It is used again in Genesis 6 and 8 when God instructs Noah to take two of every kind of land-dwelling, air-breathing animal onto the ark and also in God’s command for the animals to reproduce after the Flood. A plain reading of the text infers that plants and animals were created to reproduce within the boundaries of their kind. Evidence to support this concept is clearly seen (or rather not seen) in our world today, as there are no reports of dats (dog + cat) or hows (horse + cow)! So a good rule of thumb is that if two things can breed together, then they are of the same created kind. It is a bit more complicated than this, but for the time being, this is a quick measure of a "kind."

 

5. How Could Noah Fit the Animals on the Ark and Care for Them?

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How Could Noah Fit the Animals on the Ark and Care for Them?

John Woodmorappe

According to Scripture, Noah’s ark was a safe haven for representatives of all the kinds of air-breathing land animals and birds that God created. While it is possible that God made miraculous provisions for the daily care of these animals, it is not necessary — or required by Scripture — to appeal to miracles. Exploring natural solutions for day-to-day operations does not discount God’s role: the biblical account hints at plenty of miracles as written, such as God bringing the animals to the ark (Genesis 6:20; 7:9, 15), closing the door of the ark (7:16), and causing the fountains of the deep and the windows of heaven to open on the same day (7:11). It turns out that a study of existing, low-tech animal care methods answers trivial objections to the ark. In fact, many solutions to seemingly insurmountable problems are rather straightforward.[1]

How Did Noah Fit All the Animals on the Ark?

To answer this question, we must first ask how many animals were actually on the ark. Critics have fantasized the presence of millions of animals overloading the ark. In actuality, the Bible makes it clear that the cargo was limited to land-breathing vertebrate animals — corresponding to modern birds, mammals, and reptiles, as well as their extinct counterparts.

 

6. Was the Flood of Noah Global or Local in Extent?

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Was the Flood of Noah Global or Local in Extent?

Ken Ham and Dr. Andrew A. Snelling

Many Christians and their leaders believe that it is not relevant whether the Flood of Noah described in Genesis 68 was global or localized (in the Mesopotamian Valley of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers). After all, they say, it’s not relevant to a Christian’s salvation, and the gospel message to be preached is all about Jesus.

Besides, matters about rocks and the earth’s history are the domain of the geologists, because the Bible isn’t a science textbook. So if the geologists say there never was a global Flood, then that settles it! Thus, Christians who advocate an old earth agree with the secular geologists, and therefore they oppose any notion that the Flood of Noah was global.

However, whether the Flood of Noah was global or local in extent is a crucial question. This is because ultimately what is at stake is the authority of all of God’s Word. Indeed, if the text of Scripture in Genesis 68 clearly teaches that the Flood was global and we reject that teaching, then we undermine the reliability and authority of other parts of Scripture, including John 3:16. God’s Word must be trustworthy and authoritative in all that it affirms.

 

7. Is Man the Cause of Global Warming?

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Is Man the Cause of Global Warming?

Michael Oard

Global warming is big news. The media, environmentalists, and politicians, such as Al Gore,[1] continue to pound away that global warming is real, it is man-caused, and great harm will come to our world because of it. Some even say that global warming is the most significant threat to ever affect man. Bjorn Lomborg quotes respected scientist James Lovelock as saying: "Before this century is over, billions of us will die and the few breeding pairs of people that survive will be in the Arctic where the climate remains tolerable."[2] Intense storms of various sorts, drought, and heat waves will devastate the earth.[3]

Is all this true? Is global warming real? Is it all caused by man? Should we as Christians care about global warming, and if we do care, what should we do about it?

Man Is a Steward of God’s Creation

We should be concerned with global warming, as well as other environmental issues, simply because God created the universe, the world, and everything in it (Exodus 20:11). It is His creation; He created it directly with a purpose and with man in mind. It did not evolve over billions of years. Man was told right away in the Garden of Eden to take dominion over the earth (Genesis 1:2628), which means that we are to be stewards of His creation. We are to cultivate and take care of our surroundings, which at that time was the Garden of Eden: "Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it" (Genesis 2:15).

 

8. Did Bible Authors Believe in a Literal Genesis?

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Did Bible Authors Believe in a Literal Genesis?

Dr. Terry Mortenson

Anyone who has read the Bible very much will recognize that there are different kinds of literature in the Old and New Testaments. There are parables, poetry, prophetic visions, dreams, epistles, proverbs, and historical narrative, with the majority being the latter. So, how should we interpret Genesis 111? Is it history? Is it mythology? Is it symbolic poetry? Is it allegory? Is it a parable? Is it a prophetic vision? Is it a mixture of these kinds of literature or some kind of unique genre? And does it really matter anyway?

Moses as depicted in the Creation Museum’s biblical authority room.

We will come back to the last question later, but suffice it to say here that the correct conclusion on genre of literature is foundational to the question of the correct interpretation. If we interpret something literally that the author intended to be understood figuratively, then we will misunderstand the text. When Jesus said "I am the door" (John 10:9), He did not mean that He was made of wood with hinges attached to His side. Conversely, if we interpret something figuratively that the author intended to be taken literally, we will err. When Jesus said, "The Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him, and the third day He will be raised up" (Matthew 17:2223), He clearly meant it just as literally as if I said to my wife, "Margie, I’m going to fill up the gas tank with gas and will be back in a few minutes."

 

9. Do Fossils Show Signs of Rapid Burial?

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Do Fossils Show Signs of Rapid Burial?

Dr. John D. Morris

Uniformitarianism (or gradualism) is the secular belief that rock layers were laid down slowly over millions of years. This view was prominently taught by Charles Lyell through much of the 19th century and strongly influenced Charles Darwin, as well as much of modern geology.

But is uniformitarianism really a true understanding of the rock and fossil records? Did it really take long ages to lay down all these rock layers? Today, that view is being seriously questioned, and rightfully so! Consider a modern geology professor’s comments:

Furthermore, much of Lyell’s uniformitarianism, specifically his ideas on identity of ancient and modern causes, gradualism, and constancy of rate, has been explicitly refuted by the definitive modern sources, as well as by an overwhelming preponderance of evidence that, as substantive theories, his ideas on these matters were simply wrong.[1]

When we look at the geologic record in light of the Bible, however, a whole new way of understanding the formation of rock layers and their contained fossils opens up. Earth history as described in the Bible was dominated by several great, world-changing events. First, the earth resulted totally from the six-day creation event (Genesis 1). It was subsequently altered by the Curse on all creation due to Adam’s rebellion (Genesis 3). This was soon followed by the great Flood of Noah’s day (Genesis 69). The Flood is described as nothing less than a tectonic and hydraulic restructuring of the planet, particularly its surface layers. No place on earth escaped its terror. All land-dwelling, air-breathing life not on the ark was drowned by the Flood waters (Genesis 7:22).

 

10. What about the Similarity Between Human and Chimp DNA?

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What about the Similarity Between Human and Chimp DNA?

Dr. David A. DeWitt

The first thing I want to do is clear up a common misconception — especially among many within the Church. Many falsely believe that in an evolutionary worldview humans evolved from chimpanzees. And so they ask, "If humans came from chimps, then why are there still chimps?" However, this is not a good question to ask because an evolutionary worldview does not teach this. The evolutionists commonly teach that humans and chimpanzees are both basically "cousins" and have a common ancestor in our past. If you go back far enough, all life likely has a single common ancestor in the evolutionary view. This, of course, does not mesh with Genesis 12.

Evolutionists frequently assert that the similarity in DNA sequences provides evidence that all organisms (especially humans and chimps) are descended from a common ancestor. However, DNA similarity could just as easily be explained as the result of a common Creator.

Human designers frequently reuse the same elements and features, albeit with modifications. Since all living things share the same world, it should be expected that there would be similarities in DNA as the organisms would have similar needs. Indeed, it would be quite surprising if every living thing had completely different sequences for each protein — especially ones that carried out the same function. Organisms that have highly similar functionality and physiological needs would be expected to have a degree of DNA similarity.

 

11. Was There Death Before Adam Sinned?

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Was There Death Before Adam Sinned?

Ken Ham

Annie’s cruel death destroyed Charles’s tatters of beliefs in a moral, just universe. Later he would say that this period chimed the final death-knell for his Christianity. Charles [Darwin] now took his stand as an unbeliever."[1]

When Charles Darwin wrote his famous book On the Origin of Species, he was in essence writing a history concerning death. In the conclusion of the chapter entitled "On the Imperfections of the Geological Record," Darwin wrote, "Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows."[2]

From his evolutionary perspective on the origin of life, Darwin recognized that death had to be a permanent part of the world. Undoubtedly, he struggled with this issue as he sought to reconcile some sort of belief in God with the death and suffering he observed all around him, and which he believed had gone on for millions of years.

 

12. Abortion: Is It Really a Matter of Life and Death?

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Abortion: Is It Really a Matter of Life and Death?

Paul F. Taylor

The whole subject of abortion[1] produces very strong emotions on both sides of the argument. The two primary sides are:

Pro-life: The pro-life position is that life begins at fertilization, and that all human life is precious and made in the image of God.

Pro-choice (or more so "anti-life"): The pro-choice position is that it is the woman’s right to choose whether or not to have an abortion, because an unborn child is considered to be a part of the woman’s body. Under this definition, the unborn child is not considered to be fully human.

You would think that pro-choice meant that someone would allow the baby to choose whether he or she should live or die (miscarry), but that is not the case. Even while the baby is choosing to live and continuing to develop, some do not respect that choice. And that has brought us to the heat of a debate that rages around the world.

Such emotions are understandable and can cloud the debate, hiding the truth of what the Bible teaches. However, as this chapter will hopefully make clear, emotional responses to the subject of abortion are not necessarily inappropriate — indeed, such responses may be the most appropriate. Also, an acknowledgment that emotional issues cloud both sides of the debate should not be taken to imply that this chapter will steer a "middle ground" between the two positions. It will not — because the Bible does not do so.

 

13. Is the Christian Worldview Logical?

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Is the Christian Worldview Logical?

Dr. Jason Lisle

Many people have the impression that Christians live in two "worlds" — the world of faith and the world of reason. The world of faith is the realm that Christians live in on Sunday morning, or the world to which they refer when asked about spiritual or moral matters. However, it would seem that Christians live in the world of reason throughout the rest of the week, when dealing with practical, everyday matters. After all, do we really need to believe in the Bible to put gasoline in the car, or to balance our checkbook?

Misconceptions of Faith

The notion of "faith versus reason" is an example of a false dichotomy. Faith is not antagonistic to reason. On the contrary, biblical faith and reason go well together. The problem lies in the fact that many people have a misunderstanding of faith. Faith is not a belief in the absurd, nor is it a belief in something simply for the sake of believing it. Rather, faith is having confidence in something that we have not perceived with the senses. This is the biblical definition of faith, and follows from Hebrews 11:1. Whenever we have confidence in something that we cannot see, hear, taste, smell, or touch, we are acting upon a type of faith. All people have faith, even if it is not a saving faith in God.

 

14. What about Cloning and Stem Cells?

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What about Cloning and Stem Cells?

Dr. Tommy Mitchell and Dr. Georgia Purdom

There are few issues in our society that raise as many emotional and ethical concerns as cloning and stem cells. Scientists, journalists, special interest groups, and even patients themselves regularly bombard us with their particular views on this issue. How are we to know what to think regarding these issues? How do we separate fact from fiction? Since cloning and stem cells are two separate (but related) issues, we will deal with them individually.

What Is Cloning?

Dolly was the result of cloning a mammary cell from a mature sheep, but at what cost?

Cloning is a process by which a genetically identical copy of a gene, an entire cell, or even an organism is produced. For this chapter, we will confine the discussion primarily to the cloning of an entire organism. This is a topic about which there is much misinformation. It is also a subject that raises some very serious ethical issues.

Cloning as usually understood is an artificial process, meaning it is carried out in a laboratory setting. It can and does, however, occur regularly in nature. There are organisms (e.g., bacteria, protists, and some plants) that typically reproduce by asexual reproduction. Here a genetically identical copy of the parent is produced by the splitting of a single cell (the parent cell).

 

15. How Old Does the Earth Look?

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How Old Does the Earth Look?

Dr. Andrew A. Snelling

Insisting that the earth and the universe are young, only 6,000 years old or so, does not make the biblical view popular in today’s enlightened "scientific" culture. It would be so easy just to go along with the view believed and followed by the overwhelming majority of scientists — and taught in nearly all universities and museums around the world — that the universe is 1314 billion years old and the earth 4.5 billion years old.

After all, many Christians and most scientists who are Christians believe in such a vast antiquity for the earth and universe. Consequently, they even insist the days in Genesis 1 were not literal days, but were countless millions of years long. Also, they claim the Genesis account of creation by God is just poetic and/or figurative, so it is not meant to be read as history.

Why a Young Age for the Earth?

Of course, the reason for insisting on a young earth and universe is because other biblical authors took Genesis as literal history and an eyewitness account provided and guaranteed accurate by the Creator Himself (2 Timothy 3:16a; 2 Peter 1:21). Jesus also took Genesis as literal history (Mark 10:69; Matthew 19:45; Luke 17:27). So, the outcome of letting Scripture interpret Scripture is a young earth and universe.

 

16. Does Evolution Have a ... Chance?

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Does Evolution Have a ... Chance?

Mike Riddle

One has only to contemplate the magnitude of this task to concede that the spontaneous generation of a living organism is impossible. Yet we are here — as a result, I believe, of spontaneous generation.[1] — George Wald, Nobel Laureate

In today’s culture, molecules-to-man evolution is being taught as a fact, even though it is known to "go against the odds." But few realize the odds they are up against! And they are immense!

The Bible teaches that God is the Creator of all things (Genesis 1; Colossians 1:16; John 1:13; Revelation 4:11). While these passages rule out any possibility of Darwinian evolution, they do allow for variation within a created kind. But there is much opposition to what the Bible teaches. People holding to evolution would argue that random chance events, natural selection, and billions of years are sufficient to account for the universe and all life forms.

Do You Believe in "Magic"?

Most people recognize "magic" as an illusionary feat or trickery by sleight of hand. But how far are you willing to go to believe something can happen by "dumb luck" or chance? For example, if I were to role a die and have it come up six three times in a row, would you consider that lucky? How about if I rolled six ten times in a row? Now you might suspect that I am using some trickery or that the die is weighted.

 

17. What about Eugenics and Planned Parenthood

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What about Eugenics and Planned Parenthood?

Dr. Georgia Purdom

In 1915 a baby boy was born to Anna Bollinger. The baby had obvious deformities, and medical doctor Harry Haiselden decided the baby was not worth saving.[1] The baby was denied treatment and died. The story became national news and the cruelty of eugenic practices became public knowledge.

The year 1915 seems far removed from our modern times, but the concept of eugenics is alive and well. In 2005, two doctors from the Netherlands published "The Groningen Protocol — Euthanasia in Severely Ill Newborns."[2] This protocol was published to help doctors decide whether or not a newborn should be actively killed based on the newborn’s disease and perceived quality of life.[3]

In this chapter we will explore historical and modern perspectives of eugenics, how Planned Parenthood has played a role in furthering the cause of eugenics in the past and present, and what the proper biblical perspective on these issues should be.

What Is Eugenics?

 

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