Today on the broadcast, Answers in Genesis founder, Ken Ham, answers some of your toughest questions about the creation of the world and mankind.
Today on the broadcast, Answers in Genesis founder, Ken Ham, answers some of your toughest questions about the creation of the world and mankind.
Ken: It's probably associated with some genetic changes, you know, in our chromosomes we have some little structures called telomeres that seems that cells reproduce and so on. We age – there's no reason why we should age, in one sense. We should just keep going on forever, but there's something that happens, and it causes us to age. I think God did something at the flood to make sure man wouldn't live for hundreds of years.
Bob: This is FamilyLife Today for Friday, February 23rd. Our host is the president of FamilyLife, Dennis Rainey, and I'm Bob Lepine. Today we'll ask Ken Ham some of the most common questions about the origin of life in Genesis.
And welcome to FamilyLife Today, thanks for joining us. You know what I wish? I wish that we could go back and redo the Scopes trial and have Ken Ham as a witness, you know? Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to call to the witness stand, Dr. Ken Ham.
Dennis: Ken is the founder and president of "Answers in Genesis." So he'd pull out a Bible, take the stand and after he pledged to tell the truth and nothing but the truth, what would you then say, Ken?
Ken: Well, you know what? It's interesting. We should do a whole series on the Scopes trial. That was a turning point in Christendom.
Bob: It really was, yeah.
Ken: And for the whole world.
Dennis: It really was, Ken. A lot of people bought a lot of lies after this trial.
Ken: One of the things I would do is not let myself go on the witness stand to be cross-examined by the ACLU lawyer unless he was willing to go on there and be cross-examined, too. The whole thing was a setup, actually, for William Jennings Bryan, but one of the sad things is as great a man as William Jennings Bryan was – he was a great man, a great man of God, a great orator – but, unfortunately, he couldn't answer the questions, and he also showed that he really believed in millions of years and so on and, really, what the world saw, what the world's media saw, was a man who represented Christianity who couldn't answer questions like where did Cain get his wife, which is one that Clarence Darrow asked him – the ACLU lawyer – asked him.
And Clarence Darrow also said to him that the Bible says evening and morning for each of the days, and he waffled on that, and said he didn't really believe that, and so on, and basically it was a setup to put Christianity on trial. If Clarence Darrow had gone on the witness stand and William Jennings Bryan interviewed him, I think he would made mincemeat out of him and his evolutionary views.
But what happened was he said "We plead guilty," and ended the trial because what he wanted to do was to make Christians look like people who didn't really believe the Bible, couldn't answer the questions, and that was a turning point in Christendom in this nation.
Dennis: Okay, what I'd like to do today is I'd like to ask you the toughest questions we can possibly ask you about the Creation account.
Bob: We'll make you a witness prep guy …
Dennis: Here's the Bible …
Bob: … for William Jennings Bryan.
Dennis: … put your hand on that Bible – do you promise to tell the truth?
Dennis: And nothing but the truth, so help you God.
Dennis: Take the stand, Dr. Ham. First question – where in the world did Cain get his wife?
Ken: Well, you know, where Cain got his wife – that was from Australia. Where did Cain get his wife …
Dennis: Oh, that's bad.
Ken: You know, the Bible tells us in Genesis 5, verse 4, that Adam had sons and daughters. So not just Cain, Abel and Seth but sons and daughters, okay? And if we take that and say, "Okay, if there's only two people" – I mean 1 Corinthians 15:45 says "And with the first man." Genesis, chapter 3, verse 20 says "Eve was the mother of all the living." So you've only got one man and one woman, which is important for the Gospel because only descendants of Adam can be saved.
You know, some people in the church say, "Well, maybe God made a race of men and a race of women." You've got a problem – only descendants of Adam can be saved. There can only be one race as Paul says in Acts 17 – "God made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on the face of the earth."
And so, therefore, originally, brothers had to marry sisters. Marriage is one man, one woman, and as soon as I say that, people say, "Wait a minute, you had to marry your relative." If you don't marry a relative, you don't marry a human, then you've got a different problem and it's a much bigger problem, right?
Dennis: No doubt about it.
Ken: Now, if you think about it, Abraham was married to his half sister. That wasn't a problem. And it wasn't until the time of Moses that God said no longer can close relations marry. And so you have to look at that and say, "Well, why could close relations marry then, and they shouldn't today?" And we all know that if close relations marry today you can get deformities in the offspring, all sorts of problems is the issue – sin affected things.
See, Adam and Eve's genes were perfect before sin. But because of sin now there's corruption, and now when genes are copied from one generation to the next there can be mutations, copying mistakes. They get added into the next generation, then they get new mistakes that get added into the next generation, they get new mistakes that get added into the next generation, 6,000 years later we're quite a mess. I mean, just look around the table. We're suffering from 6,000 years of the curse.
Dennis: I agree with that.
Ken: We actually carry what doctors call a "genetic load" – all sorts of mistakes in our genes, and here is the issue – the more closely related you are, the more likely you'll inherit the same mistakes from your parents. And so if close relations marry today, those mistakes are likely to get together when sperm fertilizes egg, and so what happens is you can see a deformity. You've got a much more likelihood of some deformity, some problem in the offspring.
The further away in relationship, it's more likely you have different mistakes in different genes, and so you don't end up seeing that expressed in a particular way, and the further back you go in history, the less of a problem it is. So originally, provided it's one man for one woman, which is marriage is all about, there was no problem with brother and sister marriages, no different to a man marrying someone today, because you do marry your relative – you married your relative.
Dennis: Exactly, okay. So I can almost imagine someone standing up in the courtroom right now and say "Ah, Mr. Ham, you just mentioned that we're 6,000 years old. Where did you get that date? That date's not in Genesis where I see it in here."
Ken: You're right. That date's not in the Bible. The way I got that date was this – God made everything in six days, and I'm going to say that using the Hebrew word "Yom," qualified with the evening/morning number as it is in Genesis one, and using the best Hebrew lexicons available, that tells me that's the contextual usage for ordinary days.
And so God made everything in six days …
Bob: Six 24-hour days.
Ken: Six 24-hour days – in fact, Exodus 20, verse 11, which is a basis of the Fourth Commandment says God made everything in six days and rested for one as a pattern for us. That's where our seven-day week came from. If God made everything in six million years and rested for a million years, it would be an interesting week. We could have a long rest at the end of the week.
So when you look in Genesis, in Genesis 5, Genesis 11, you've got these genealogies – so-and-so-begat so-and-so begat so-and-so – and we can go right down to Abraham. And look at the New Testament – we've also got genealogies, too. But here is the thing – in Hebrew, the word "begat" – there is no example in the Old Testament – now, the New Testament – everything Greek. The Greed word "begat" is different. But the Hebrew "begat" there is no example where begat ever jumps a generation. There is just no example in the Old Testament, and there is lots of other evidence given in those genealogies about who begat who at what age and what age they had children and so on, and so there's no reason at all to put any gaps in those genealogists.
And so when you add up all the dates in the Bible right through to Christ and 2,000 years until now, and you add up all those dates, you come to about 6,000 years. It's just like in Mark 10, when Jesus said He made the male and female from the beginning – if the beginning was millions of years ago or millions of years before man, that wouldn't make sense. But he made the male and female from the beginning.
Bob: All right, but on the question of these begats, some of these people in the Old Testament are supposed to have lived 900 years?
Bob: What does that mean?
Ken: It means they lived 900 years.
Just take it as it's written.
Bob: But nobody lives 900 years.
Ken: Not today, that's true. And, you know, I think there's some very important reasons for that. But it's interesting – first of all, when you look at those ages of some of those patriarchs – hundreds of years – some people say, "Well, those dates can't be right, you know, maybe well take it down by a tenth," or something like that.
But here's the thing – if you do that, then they're going to end up having children when they're five years old and things like that. So that doesn't work, either. It makes sense to take them as ages as given there.
When you look at Noah's flood, after Noah's flood, those ages drop off, drop off quite markedly, and I believe it was part of what God did – it's probably associated with some genetic changes. You know, in our chromosomes we have some little structures called telomeres that it seems the cells reproduce and so on. We age – there's no reason why we should age, in one sense.
I mean, people who understand the human body will tell you, really, we should just keep going on forever, but there's something that happens, and it seems that God did something genetically that these things, these telomeres, get chopped off, and it causes us to age. I think God did something at the flood to make sure man wouldn't live for hundreds of years.
Bob: So before the flood people did live multiple hundreds of years?
Ken: Yes, for long ages.
Bob: What about the nefelim – is that how you pronounce them – in Genesis 6?
Ken: I hate those sort of questions. Can you give another one?
Bob: I can, yeah, but we're keeping you on trial here. This is cross-examination.
Ken: Well, you know, a lot of people misread that section because it talks about the sons of God and the daughters of men, and it says there were nefelim, and they weren't a product of the sons of God and daughters of men. It's just a statement, "and there were nefelim on the earth in those days." And notice something – after the flood the sons of Anak were called nefelim. Why?
Remember, the Israelites were frightened of them. They were tall, they were big. I think that they were just a variation in the humankind of people who were large. You know, for instance, Goliath and his brothers who were obviously giants. And when it says there were giants on the earth in those days, the nefelim, I think it was just a variation within humankind of giant people, and I don't fit that with the sons of God and daughters of men.
Bob: What is with – what's the deal with the sons of God and the daughters of men?
Ken: I hate that question, too. You know, there are different views in Christian circles and, man, I could step on people's toes here, because some believe it has to do with angels and people and so on. And if you want my personal views …
Dennis: Yeah, that's what we want.
Ken: All right, my personal view – you know, I had a real problem with that because if you're going to have beings mate with humans they'd have to have the same genetic makeup, and it sort of doesn't make sense from that perspective. And, you know, the sons of God, is a term that's used of angels, that's used of humans, too. You know, Adam was a son of God, for instance, and in a different sort of way we become sons of God.
But I personally believe, as you go right through Scripture, one of the things that Satan has wanted to do is to destroy the family, and one of the best ways to destroy the family – look what he did with the Israelites – the doctrine of Balam speaks to this, and this happened with the Israelites over and over again – when you mix godly people and ungodly people, you can then lose that spiritual legacy in the next generation or the one after, it doesn't take long to lose it, and I believe that's what I was talking about. Godly people and ungodly people, by the time of the flood, there's hardly any godly people left. There's just Noah and his family.
And then look what's happened since the flood, and when God calls the people of Israel – again, when they marry pagans instead of marrying those who believe in the same God and so on – what happens? You can destroy the next generation, and Satan is doing the same in our families today, I believe, because a lot of people in the church – you know, there are sons and daughters that date non-Christians, and then we wonder why they lose their children, from a Christian perspective, in the next generation or their grandchildren. I believe that's what the sons of God and daughters of men is all about.
Dennis: So it's not some super race of people?
Ken: I don't believe so. And, again, you know, it's not saying that produces a nefelim. You know, there were nefelim after the flood, too. So I think we ought to put all that in context.
Dennis: And if folks want to read about this, they can turn to Genesis, chapter …
Dennis: Chapter six.
Ken: Chapter six. But that is something that I'm not going to be definite on because I know there are different interpretations, but that's my opinion.
Bob: Dinosaurs you'll be definite on, right?
Ken: Dinosaurs, I'm definite on, exactly.
Bob: All right, and dinosaurs were created on day 5 or 6 in Creation?
Ken: Dinosaurs were created on day 6 – dinosaurs are land animals. Land animals were made on day 6 and, by the way, I want to state something, which you might find a little strange. They were real animals. You know the reason I say that? I've met many Christians – there was a wife of a pastor in Ohio who got real upset with me talking about dinosaurs because dinosaurs are so equated with evolution and millions of years, she taught her kids they didn't exist, because she didn't know how to answer them, so she just said they're a fraud.
And when I talked on them, I taught them as real creatures. She got upset with me, and she was arguing with me, and I said, "What do you do when take your kids to a museum, and they say, 'Mum, what are those bones?' 'What bones, I don't see any bones, what are you talking about?'"
Of course, dinosaurs are real creatures. We find their bones all over the earth, but they were land animals. When did God made all land animals? He made the land animals on day 6. Who else did He make on day 6? Adam and Eve. So what would we conclude from that? That those days are ordinary days – I believe they are. Adam and Eve and dinosaurs lived at the same time. So people lived at the same time as dinosaurs.
Bob: So Adam's wandering around with a pet dinosaur or with dinosaurs all around him?
Ken: Well, you might think that he'd be a little frightened of a T-Rex of something, chomping his head off.
Bob: I saw "Jurassic Park," you know?
Ken: Yeah, but "Jurassic Park" is also illustrating dinosaurs in a fallen world, right?
Dennis: Yeah, there you go.
Ken: Whereas, originally, it was a perfect world, and when you read Genesis, chapter 1, verse 30, God told all the animals to eat plants. They were all vegetarian.
Now, immediately, people say to me, "Are you crazy or something? Look at that T-Rex, it has teeth six inches long. There are animals with sharp teeth, and they're obviously meat-eaters." I say, "No, just because an animal has sharp teeth it doesn't mean it's a meat-eater, it just means it has sharp teeth."
And you need sharp teeth if you're going to chomp away on pumpkins or potatoes or plants or – most bears, they have teeth that look like the teeth of a lion or a tiger, but most bears are primarily vegetarian, some of them are strictly vegetarian.
Think of the panda – I went to the San Diego Zoo once where the guide said to me, "The panda evolved by evolution to get sharp teeth to eat meat, so now it can eat bamboo." I said to my kids, "It looks like it's designed to do what it does do, and what it does do, it does do very well, doesn't it? Don't you think?" They thought it did. I did, too. We had a great time talking about that.
So just because an animal has sharp teeth doesn't mean it was a meat-eater. Today there are animals who have sharp teeth that are meat-eaters, but originally all were plant eaters, because it was a perfect world.
Bob: So where are the dinosaurs?
Ken: They died, it's very simple.
Dennis: In the flood, they died, right?
Ken: Well, a lot died in the flood, but two of every kind of land animal – I mean, when you read Genesis 6, it doesn't say, "And God send to Noah two of every kind of land animal except the dinosaurs."
Dennis: That's true.
Ken: It says "two of every kind of land animal" and groups them the same way as written in Genesis, chapter 1, concerning what God created.
Dennis: So what happened? Did they perish after the flood then?
Ken: We would say most of the bones you find are from the flood, but after the flood – and, by the way, the average size of a dinosaur is only the size of a sheep, and some of the large ones, like the sauropods, you know, when they were young adults, they weren't that large. God chose the animals to go on the ark, and there's probably less than 50 actual kinds of dinosaurs, not hundreds of kinds, only 50 kinds and a variation within each kind – those that came out of the ark – what's happened since the flood?
As animals have increased on the earth and moved over the earth, the earth has changed. Climate changes because the flood affected the world, sin and the curse affected the world. We now have endangered species programs, and the reason we have endangered species programs is because animals die out every year, and so we're trying to save the animals.
And why do they die out? People clearing land, killing them, killing each other, diseases, catastrophes, climate changes – there's all sorts of reasons why they die out. What happened to the dinosaurs? Same things. The reason we don't have dinosaurs is because we didn't start our endangered species programs early enough.
Dennis: And as we talk about this, that obviously brings us to carbon-14 dating, and the whole issue of the age of the universe.
Ken: You know what's very interesting – I get asked about carbon-14. Students from high schools will come home, and they'll talk about carbon-14. I've found most teachers totally misunderstand carbon-14. Now, I'm not saying that as a Creationist. I'm just saying that from the perspective of what it's all about– they misunderstand.
I get asked about carbon-14 all the time, and what happens when I'm asked that question I first of all say to them, "Are you asking about the age of the earth, or are you asking about carbon-14?" People look at me a little perplexed. When I ask an audience, "How many of you have heard carbon-14 used to talk about millions of years or the age of the earth," most hands go up. So the problem is carbon-14 has nothing to do with the age of the earth. Carbon-14 has nothing to do with millions of years. That's not me, as a Creationist saying that. The fact of the matter is it does not.
Carbon-14 is one of those dating methods that can only date things back thousands of years, and it's based on the radioactive decay of carbon-14, and carbon-14 – let me talk about radioactive decay. We talk about a half-life, how long it takes for half of it to decay. The half-life of carbon-14 is around about 5.5 thousand years, and so after a certain number of half-lives, carbon-14 will be undetectable, and what that would say is if anything is more than 100,000 years old – now, I don't believe anything is 100,000 years old – but if anything is more than 100,000 years old, you would find carbon-14.
You find carbon-14 in coal deposits, in dinosaur bones, in other fossils, and in wood – all sorts of things all over the earth that are supposed to be millions of years old. Which mean there's something wrong.
We can't go back into the past to the starting point and know exactly what was there, and we can't follow that process all the way through, which is why every dating method, whether it's robidium, strontium, potassium-argon, carbon-14, whatever it is, every dating method has problems because it has assumptions that are fallible.
And there are hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of ways that you can use to age-date things on this earth. Ninety percent of them contradict millions and billions of years; 90 percent contradict the secular dates. You don't hear about the 90 percent of methods in the school textbooks or in the newspapers. You only hear about the 10 percent of methods that seem to give the millions and billions of years.
But even when you understand them, they're all based on fallible assumptions. And if anyone said to me, "Can you prove the earth is young, using dating methods?" I would say, "No, just like you can't prove the earth is old." You know, from that perspective, we could say we're age-dating agnostics because every dating method man uses is fallible. The only infallible dating method is if someone who was there, who knows everything, revealed to us when it started and helped us understand the history along the way, so we can add up the dates. Have you ever heard of anyone like that?
Bob: I can think of one guy. These questions that we've been talking about today – you address these in more depth and more detail in the Creation Museum that is opening this summer in Cincinnati, right?
Ken: Oh, yes, in fact we have some special video programs, you know, two, three-minute video segments where we even have Creation scientists, geologists, paleontologists, people who are experts in their field, who will also say these things in a very quick and understandable way.
Bob: And you've got information on your website about a lot of the things we've talked about, too, right?
Ken: We have thousands of articles. You could spend millions of years on our website just sorting through all those articles and reading them.
Dennis: Millions of years? All I want to do is spend one day at the museum after it's finished, and I think I'm going to get a chance to do that. Ken, I want to thank you for being with us, and I want to thank you for your stand on the Scripture as well as standing here on the interview stand and allowing Bob and me to pester you with a few questions that perhaps many in our audience would ask you. Thanks for your work on the Creation Museum and in "Answers in Genesis." Thanks for being on the broadcast.
Ken: Thanks, and I appreciate the ministry that you people are involved in and we can work together like that.
Bob: Let me mention that we have a link on our website to the "Answers in Genesis" website if folks want to find out more about those thousands of articles that take millions of years to read, or if they are interested in more information about the Creation Museum that's opening up this summer. You can go to our website, FamilyLife.com, click the red "Go" button that you see in the middle of the page, and that will take you to an area of the site where there's a link to the "Answers in Genesis" website.
There's also information about resources that are available from us here at FamilyLife including the new answers book where Ken and others answer more than 25 of the most commonly asked questions about Creation and evolution and what the Bible teaches about origins.
That book is available in our FamilyLife Resource Center along with a magazine that Campus Crusade for Christ has put together called "Why Origins?" This is a full-color, 100-page magazine that can be used to effectively share information about the Gospel with folks who are interested in science and in origins.
There's information about the "Why Origins?" magazine on our website at FamilyLife.com, and you can request a copy when you go there. Again, click the red button in the middle of the page that says "Go," and that will take you to the area of the site where you'll find these resources listed.
If you're interested in both Ken Ham's book, "The New Answers Book," and the "Why Origins?" magazine, we'll be happy to send along at no additional cost the CD audio of our conversation with Ken Ham and, of course, it's available to listen to on the Web at anytime at FamilyLife.com.
You can also call for information about resources. Call 1-800-FLTODAY, that's 1-800-F-as-in-family, L-as-in-life, and then the word TODAY, and we'll let you know how you can get these resources sent out to you.
We also want to make sure we say thanks this week to those of you who are not just listeners but those of you who help support the ministry of FamilyLife Today. Some of you are Legacy Partners and help with monthly support for our ministry.
Others of you make a donation from time to time. This month, any of our listeners who are able to help with a donation of any amount, we have a CD that we'd like to send you that has two audio messages on it – one from Pastor C.J. Mahaney and the other from his wife, Carolyn, where they take turns talking about romance in marriage. C.J. talks to men about how we can more effectively express our love and our care and our concern for our wives, and Carolyn talks to wives about doing the same for a husband.
This CD is our thank you gift this month when you make a donation of any amount to the ministry of FamilyLife Today. If you're donating online at FamilyLife.com, when you come to the keycode box on the donation form, type in the word "Love," and we'll know to send a copy of this CD along as a thank you gift.
Or call us at 1-800-FLTODAY, make your donation over the phone, and mention that you'd like the CD audio that we talked about on FamilyLife Today – the romance audio. They'll know what you're talking about, and we'll be happy to send it out to you. Again, it's a thank you gift for your donation of any amount during the month of February to the ministry of FamilyLife Today, and we do appreciate your financial support.
Well, I hope you have a great weekend. I hope you and your family are able to worship together this weekend, and I hope you can be back with us on Monday when we're going to talk to a man who tells us how he got a wake-up call when the police showed up and arrested him from problems that came as a result of his compulsive gambling. I hope you can be with us for that.
I want to thank our engineer today, Kenny Farris, and our entire broadcast production team. On behalf of our host, Dennis Rainey, I'm Bob Lepine. Have a great weekend, and we'll see you Monday for another edition of FamilyLife Today.
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