by Credo Quia Absurdum
I went to see the Noah film last week – the one with a cast of major actors including Russell Crowe in the title role. It’s not the greatest biblical epic ever – but it raised some interesting questions.
The story was somewhat embellished from the familiar one in Genesis – with added monsters and fighting so that it could be given the full Hollywood computer graphics treatment. I have no particular quibble with making up stuff to add to an already made up tale that the bible writers plagiarised from Sumerian legends, but it did seem contrived to make for more epic scenes.
As for the story line about Ham’s wife (played by Emma Watson) being firstly barren due to injury, then miraculously healed by Methuselah, and then having twin girls which Noah was intent on killing was, as far as I know, pure film-maker invention – though God commanding the killing of a man’s offspring is not without biblical precedent!
But although the film was pretty bad it wasn't anything like as bad as a video that was brought to my attention on Facebook.
Andy Walton is known to many of us ex-Christadelphians for his inane speculations on his “Weekly World Watch” – where he imagines that the bible predicts today’s news.
He has jumped on the publicity bandwagon in the wake of the release of the Noah film, and the Bible Truth Prophecy Video Vault channel on YouTube has put a recording of his illustrated lecture up for the world to see with the promise that “you will be amazed”!
I am guessing they don’t mean amazed by the ignorance and stupidity on display, but that was what struck me.
Firstly it soon becomes evident that Walton has joined the rush of Christadelphians to become the worst kind of creationist – believing in a young earth and a global flood just four-and-a-half thousand years ago.
He quotes Genesis 7:19-20
“And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered. Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered”
and claims that this proves that
“…it’s just got to be a world-wide flood - there’s just no other way of us thinking about that…”
Perhaps that is right – if you think that Bronze Age legends are more to be trusted than the findings of science.
Then he makes the claim that the earth was less lumpy before the flood – the mountains were lower and the valleys higher – and apparently this is confirmed by God in Psalm 104:8 – but only if you read it in the English Standard Version:
“The mountains rose, the valleys sank down to the place that you appointed for them.”
He makes a point of thanking God for this revelation which helps to overcome the problem of the impossibly large volume of water needed to cover the globe.
I wonder if he also thanks God for the revelation in the same Psalm that “He set the earth on its foundations, so that it should never be moved” or that he made the sky by “stretching out the heavens like a tent” – clearly implying that the earth is flat.
Perhaps he also believes that there could be a tree that could be seen from ALL ends of the earth (Daniel 4) or that there is a mountain so high that ALL the kingdoms of the earth could be surveyed in all their glory (Matthew 4).
It’s just got to be a flat earth – there’s just no other way of thinking about that!
Andy Walton is doing is what Christadelphians are expert at. Taking a verse out of context, and reading it in a translation that makes it say what he would like it to say, to demonstrate what he already believes. But there is no way that the psalmist was writing to explain anything scientific – it’s just a poem! If you want rising mountains and deepening valleys then to be consistent you also have to have a flat earth on unmovable foundations with the heavens stretched out like a tent over it.
Then he gets to the bit that is supposed to amaze us. He plays part of a video about a man called Walt Brown who dreamed up something he calls hydroplate theory. This involves the pre-flood earth having a crust that floats on huge subterranean oceans. The pressure in these oceans eventually caused the crust the crack and break up releasing all the water to flood the earth (this explains the “fountains of the deep”). This is presented as if Walt Brown is a leading scientific thinker and his ideas are new and revolutionary.
A little bit of research online will quickly show that this is far from the truth. Walt Brown, a mechanical engineer who had a military career before retirement, first published his hydroplate theory back in the 1980s, and not only is it rightly ignored by the scientific community, it is even considered dubious by other creationists. Brown seems to have a one-man creationist ministry – perhaps he is a particularly contentious character, who doesn't even get on with other creationists – and his theory is complete fantasy, dreamed up with the sole purpose of clinging on to a literal interpretation of the Genesis flood story in the face of overwhelming lack of evidence that such a thing ever happened.
The fact that Andy Walton presents it as a biblical approach to the Noah story shows just how intellectually bankrupt Christadelphians have become. There is no excuse for such ignorance!
Mankind has been aware for two centuries that the world is much older than 6000 years and that the story of Noah’s flood is a myth – the evidence for our modern understanding of the earth is overwhelming to everyone except those who have a prior commitment of thinking that the collected legends of the Hebrews organised into text some 2,500 years ago somehow have priority over scientific reason. For most of their history most Christadelphians have generally taught that the earth is old and the flood was local. It seems that in the 21st century, they are lurching ever further away from science and reason with the widespread use of the internet to promote extreme biblical literal creationism.
Another nail in the coffin of Christadelphianism?