Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Answers in Creation

You may not have heard of it before, but there is a theistic evolution website out there called "Answers in Creation". They're a pretty good site, and even have their own "Index to Creationist Claims". My favorite was their refutation of Ken Ham's Dinosaurs in the Bible Claim:


Ken Ham claims that Isaiah 43:20 refers to dragons. This verse says, "
The beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen." (KJV)

Source: Ken Ham, The Great Dinosaur Mystery Solved!, Page 34-35

Response:

  1. The Hebrew word translated dragon is tannîym. According to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, it is;

    “a marine or land monster, i.e. sea-serpent or jackal; dragon, sea-monster, serpent, whale.”

    The King James Version, which Ham quotes, is the only major version to translate it as “dragon.” The New American Standard (NAS), regarded by scholars as the most literal version, uses “serpent” in Psalm 91 and “jackel” in Isaiah 43. The New International Version and Amplified Version agree with the NAS. The New King James Version also corrects the KJV version, using “serpent” and “jackel.”

11 comments:

a guy said...

I would be careful, if I were you, about trying to argue over a definition from Strong's Dictionaries, or ever accepting mute arguments from a group that would dare do so, especially in regards biblical flora and fauna, being that many of them are unsure, or unidentified: best-guesses, if you will: which are often translated variously, hoping to get something "close enough"; truth is, many we just don't know anymore, that is, what, exactly, someone was referring to.
But before gloating about the anti-young-earth crowds, Ken Ham is an easy target: even for young earth creationists, period: he's considered, often, unscrupulous, and therefore, not necessarily wise to quote or listen to: this doesn't, in itself, make his arguments defacto invalid...but it does mean listening and handling his information critically.

AIGBusted said...

This isn't my refutation, it is the refutation from "Answers in Creation" a group which sets the lies of AiG straight.

If the translation is not certain, this actually supports their claim better than it does AiG's: The uncertainty means that they cannot claim this as clear proof that the Bible mentions dinosaurs.

Ken Ham is one of the most popular young earthers, and I have encountered people who accept claims far crazier than his (People who argue using material from the likes of Kent Hovind), so he needs to be debunked.

a guy said...

Here's the problem, however: an idea from these old terms can be drawn, if not the exact species precisely; thus it wouldn't be preposterous for someone to claim "we think we see a reference to dinosaurs in the bible in a word that means something like 'a really big monster'".

However, I only meant to point-out it's preposterous to rely solely on that old concordance: which is, though, useful (just to be used by knowledgeable people, critically: something not likely).

Anyway, it's a good idea for people to not read "dinosaurs" into "dragon" before checking into such matters; nor would I think it good for anyone to go around making blanket-statements that a particular group is all lies; particularly it's better to mention specifics, and no offense to AiC, but as a student of biology (and Christian myself), AiC does not, thus far I've seen, appear to be very impressive: neither their use of scripture, nor the assertions they make.

As I peruse the site I feel as if I could rip-up their arguments, at least those related to biology (and a few in geology) one-by-one, whether or not I agree with them (they're just not impressive: and this isn't an appeal to personal incredulity, but consideration of how one handles different evidences, scientific data and fact, and a wide variety of things).

Anyway, I personally try not to talk to much on scientific things only because I have a lot to learn yet, tons to study, and a personally-known need for much more rigor, and carefulness, so forgive me if I don't (yet) say much more: I'm just suggesting to you more caution than zeal, that is, not grabbing-on to refutations you think will help your own position, agenda, bent, belief, knowledge, whatever, because although it may appear helpful, in agreement, whatever, it may also be uncareful science.

P.S. Personally, I'm tired of geologists, hobbyists, etc. trying to touch upon and mouth off about evolution. [Sigh.] I don't even agree with much thought and argumentation underlying current evolutionary theory, I'm able to systematically take-apart at least the basically taught matters (and some of complicated stuff, actually), and go through some of its history of thought to examine strengths and weaknesses, and yet oftentimes I feel as if those defending it just don't know their material, or they're creating diversions, and I want to rip them off a stage and do a better job at explaining something I don't even agree with! Honestly, even if someone doesn't bit, it's not an unimportant subject, having been and impetus for much common thought (or at least a big part of it) and a lot of important history, in its various forms: history good and bad.

Just giving a disclosure, the current problem of evolutionary theory: lack of mechanism: not just a few people say this (and, in fact, even being a Christian, behind closed doors biologists are a little more frank about severe weaknesses than in public). Yet despite that, even contradicting many of my own beliefs, if I have kids you can bet I'll be more than a little serious about rigorously tutoring them into the subject (including the modern form of the theory at that time, as well as the historical forms that influenced thought at various points in history) such that their teachers (if I have my way: which I know depends on the kids too!) will be wondering "how's this kid know more than I do?

Oh, and one last thing: phylogeny does not recapitulate ontology...make sure to tell your friends: ol' Mr. Gould was as pissed as I am that Haeckel's fraud (as creationists call it) is still in textbooks and in biologists' minds (I still see findings related to that assumption!); he put it in terms akin to that it does incalculable damage to biology still: and I was once reading this article by Steven Gould on this (this was intro biology years ago) right as my professor loudly pronounced, "remember people, phylogeny recapitulates ontology!"

Uh...? That was sticky: get the word out!

AIGBusted said...

Lack of mechanism? It's called "natural selection".

Yes, you are right: Ontogeny does not recapitulate phylogeny. P.Z. Myers has been trying to get the word out on this issue:

http://www.pandasthumb.org/archives/2006/08/the_politically_3.html

So has Kenneth Miller:
http://www.millerandlevine.com/km/evol/embryos/Haeckel.html

No offense, but you should be way more humble when it comes to thinking that people who have worked for years studying this stuff have gotten it all wrong. It doesn't mean that they are right, but look for answers to your questions, don't just assume they're all bumbling idiots.

AIGBusted said...

Sorry those links cut off. Let me post em again. Just remove the spaces :

http://www.millerandlevine.com

/km/evol/embryos/Haeckel.html



http://www.pandasthumb.org/

archives/2006/08/

the_politically_3.html

a guy said...

P.S. (again), one animal we do think is identifiable in the Bible: the Onager; it's surely one of the most amazing creatures on earth (nearing extinction though); a very hardy animal known for leaping through the terrain and mountains (and so difficult to catch).

In ancient times they were apparently tamed and used by Persians, and they were still used 'till recently, but the difficulty is taming itself: notoriously difficult.

Anyway, just a comment for interest: that's one of the creatures we do think we know rather precisely. Personally I'm hoping to learn enough about genetics to do preservation work and to increase genetic diversity in the populations of such species before near-extinction guarantees inevitable decline despite human intervention.

http://reference.howstuffworks.com/onager-encyclopedia.htm

http://bibletab.com/o/onager.htm

a guy said...

I don't think they're idiots, but the key here is "define natural selection"; if it is merely the selection amongst a variety of alleles, then the theory becomes insignificant instead of a breakthrough in thought: what's significant about mere expression of what already exists?

Contrariwise, if mechanisms which effect actual new, "intelligible" (in biological terms) data in the genomes without disrupting the organisms that inherit it, but rather is in harmony with it, then that could be an actual mechanism.

The basic definition of selection these days regards pre-existing alleles, not new mutations: and thought the later is the logical necessity, the former is invoked whenever the good 'ol (and hated) "problem of information" comes up, like a dodge.

That's not to say, however, people are just trying to prove they're right and evolutionists are wrong: I try considering both sides (even think of better ones for both), as well as consider better solutions to the various proposals of mechanism. "Natural selection" is, however, a blanket-statement these days; yet, honestly, I wouldn't necessarily just want to tell everyone that, either, only in this sense, that people like to take information and stand upon it arrogantly, as if it makes them brilliant geniuses, rather than handle/consider/check it etc..

I'm the guy who loves biological subjects, but began considering theory etc. and from that beginning to see problems, (rather than just going to parrot information from groups like AiG, ICR, etc.; though the latter group, I was surprised, does have various respect even among academia: depends on the person and professor, however).

Anyway, the real point: I don't wish to call anyone an idiot, nor be perceived that way: honestly there are many men and women committed to their study of a particular topic, and devoted to finding solutions, and also to teachings others rigorous science: there's a move these days to teach people "that science is not just information, but a method", so that people will actually be less dogmatic, including regarding evolutino (though less so that than a lot of other things); and this I applaud, as it leaves everything, including "golden calfs", open to challenge, replacement, refinement, etc.. It'll be better for us all.

Let's just beware unscrupulosity. Thanks for the Meyers articles: I could do to brush-up on scientific literature.

And by the way, have any book (or journal) recommendations, by chance? It may be random, but you never know the gems someone holds.

a guy said...

edit: when I said "nor be perceived that way", I meant I don't want to be perceived as saying or implying that others' are idiots; I did not meant I did not want to be seen as an idiot (which may be how that's taken), as anyone is free to think me an idiot if they so deem.

AIGBusted said...

Natural Selection just means that the varieties which are best adapted to their environments become the most common. This is why we have an antibiotic resistant bacteria becoming more widespread in nations which use antibiotics. The process is very well illustrated by the peppered moth example (which is not a hoax, despite what creationists may tell you).

I agree that natural selection is not the end of the story: We still need a way for brand new functions, traits, etc. to crop up. I have a rather long answer with lots of references to that question here: (remove spaces)
http://aigbusted.com/

Information.php

On the book recommendations: I would recommend "Only a Theory" by Kenneth Miller or a book set to be released this january called "Why Evolution is True" by Jerry Coyne.

AIGBusted said...

Also a document called "The 29 Evidences for MacroEvolution"

Just google it and it shall appear.

didjaallen said...

That is all you have...come on...let's have a big boy discussion and stop grasping for straws. Gotta love the blogs today because you can say whatever you want and think you are right and look like and idiot = an utterly foolish or senseless person: according to dictionary.com. Why don't you have a debate with Ken Hamm and do not hide behind you computer...i know you will say that I am hiding but i preach absolute truth where ever i go...i just ran across this by total accident...