Sunday, March 07, 2004

It's a Miracle! One of the most prominent organizations advocating the Young-Earth Creationist viewpoint is Answers in Genesis. I subscribe to their free e-newsletter, which invariably contains items of prurient interest. One of the main features of this newsletter is a question of the week, typically some potential challenge to creationism, followed by a real sockdolager of an answer with which to bludgeon the atheist scum who dared raise the challenge in the first place. I reproduce this week's Q&A in full:

Q: The Bible tells us that all the land animals that God sent to Noah stayed on the Ark for a whole year. How could they have survived ‘cooped up’ for that long?

This is a good question. If Noah had all of these land animals on board, including dinosaurs, how could he feed and take care of them? In fact, many skeptics challenge Christians with this question to discredit the truth of this account.

The Bible doesn’t reveal all the details about what happened on the Ark, but we do know that God was in total control of the situation. In fact, there’s a verse in Genesis that states, ‘And God remembered Noah.’ There’s no doubt that God supernaturally looked after the Ark and its precious cargo.

Having observed the behavior of animals, we can offer some suggestions. Biologists know that most animals seem to have the ability to hibernate. It’s possible that for some animals God supernaturally intensified this ability during the time of the Flood so that the animals’ body functions were at a minimum and their food requirements would have been very small. They probably would have slept most of the time. And there may have been other techniques.

Whatever the question, it’s vital to believe the book of Genesis!

Ahem. Of course, the idea of Noah leading two Brontasaurases onto an ark with the dimensions described in the Bible is almost too amusing to contemplate. And the leap from "And God remembered Noah" (he could hardly do otherwise, since he's freakin' omnipotent!) to "God supernaturally looked after the Ark" is enough to give even the strongest among us a good whack of vertigo. You might also amuse yourself with the picture of Noah and his family tiptoeing around all those sleeping animals.

But more to the point, surely this illustrates the absurdity of invoking miracles in the name of science. The creationists want us to imagine that the story of the ark presented in the Bible is literally true. They write books with titles like Noah's Ark: A Feasibility Study. But as soon as they are presented with an objection having no rational answer they simply invoke miracles. How could Noah's Ark not be feasible if God simply intervenes to overcome any obstacles we encounter?

And just in case the invocation of a miracle to get around a perfectly reasonable objection to a literal interpretation of what is obviously an allegory does not convince you, the good folks at AiG then exhort us to believe the Bible anyway. They might as well have said that at the beginning, and spared us the balderdash about animal hibernation and God's memory.

Do you begin to understand why creationists annoy me so much? Do you begin to see the total lunacy of letting these people have any say over school science curricula?


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