Answers in Genesis
| The divine comedy|
“”What Answers in Genesis loves to do is to grab a couple of random pieces, pound them together until they mash up, and then tell you that the Bible clearly explains that this mangled cardboard shows that the Earth is very young. [...] They desperately desire to have evidence on their side, to the point that they have to start inventing their own and misrepresenting the facts.
“”Answers in Genesis is not defending the Christian faith, it is turning it into something that can be easily ridiculed and dismissed.
|— James F.McGrath, Bible scholar|
Answers in Genesis (AiG), headed by
Ken Sham Ken Ham , is a Christian apologetics ministry which pushes "creation science". They run (into the ground it would seem) the Creation "Museum" and Ark Encounter theme-parks in Kentucky. They also publish the Answers Research Journal. Considered the leaders of creationist "research" online, Answers in Genesis will invariably be linked to by creationists to prove points. If you have a perceived fallacy in creationism, AiG will have the answer, Talk Origins will have the refutation, and AiG will have the refutation of the refutation (generally just a restatement of the original piece).
In 1993, after 7 years in the US working with the Institute for Creation Research, former Australian high-school teacher Ken Ham decided to start a creation science ministry similar to the Creation Science Foundation (now Creation Ministries International) he had founded back in Australia, because he felt that the ICR were too "intellectual" and what was needed was a more layman's approach to teaching creation science. Also, he wanted to sell his magazines, but the ICR would not help him.
The first snag in the road is that in the US a foundation has to give away money, so he called it the Creation Science Ministries. The second snag was he had no money. According to CMI they gave significant financial support to Ham to start his new US ministry, while AiG say they needed no such thing and had plenty of money thank you. In 1995, both of Ham's ministries changed their names to become Answers in Genesis-US and Answers in Genesis-Australia. For many years they were pretty much the same organisation, even generating a common Statement of Faith that was supposed to bind the two.
By 2005 a huge split occurred between the two, with the Australian organisation's view that Ham was out of control and egotistical. The US branch withdrew along with the UK office, taking the naming rights and branding rights with them. AiG-Australia became Creation Ministries International, taking with it all the other non-US offices in Canada, New Zealand and South Africa.
In 2007 AiG opened its now infamous Creation Museum and in 2008, having lost Creation magazine and The Journal of Creation in the split, it started its own creation research journal, Answers Research Journal.
A representative argument from AiG
The AiG-commissioned comic pictured at right is representative of their approach to science, their method of scientific analysis going something like this:
- Look at the evidence.
- See if it jibes with the Bible.
- If it does, go nuts over it.
- If it does not, it is like Cthulhu, capable of eating people and Bibles; ignore it.
A handful of AiG's embarrassing, outrageous "arguments"
- Homosexuals do not exist, since many have a small amount of incidental opposite-sex attraction, and also because many gays (wait for it) enjoy women as friends.
- The distinction between observational and historical science.
Source: Various AiG articles.
- An eyewitness is always better than evidence and math. (Let's see how that one would hold up in court.)
- God is real because...well...the bible is true...because...it is the word of god...because... The name of this article is "to all our atheist friends, thank God you are wrong," and AiG did an entire ad campaign on it. It uses the presupposition that the Bible is true and infallible. It also claims that human minds are fallible (so how do they use theirs to determine the Bible isn't?).
- Better yet, not only does the site use circular reasoning, it admits its own fallacy, and fails miserably at trying to defend it.
Source: Various AiG articles.
- "Hilariously Illogical", a smart alec-y response to a non-creationist. The author states that nothing matters in a materialistic view, and that "evolutionary papers" should be metaphorical, like the Bible is.
- NASA should stop the SETI program, because the Bible doesn't mention aliens, and even if they do exist, they're all going to hell, because they're not descendants of Adam, and therefore can't be saved.
Bad arguments even AiG recognize as bad
- See also PRATT
Many creationists seem stuck with hundreds of really stupid arguments as to why the world is 6000 years old, the Bible is literally true and "we didn't evolve from no monkey." Most of these arguments are, of course, utter crap and for the true connoisseur of Young Earth Creationism, it is some of the material developed by Answers in Genesis that is most worthwhile. AiG isn't considered as having some of the best of creationist research for nothing. They do employ people, such as Jason Lisle, who have real qualifications and have genuinely thought this through - although in most cases,
not enough actual scientists outdo them with facts. Their "Arguments we think creationists should NOT use", for example, makes interesting - indeed surprising - reading. Their examples of bad creationist arguments include:
- Darwin recanted on his deathbed.
- Moon dust thickness proves a young moon. (This one was so bad that AiG later recanted it themselves.)
- The Japanese trawler Zuiyo Maru caught a dead plesiosaur near New Zealand.
- Archaeopteryx is a fraud.
- Darwin mentioned the absurdity of eye evolution in The Origin of Species.
- Evolution is Just a theory.
- Supposed "information loss" in DNA is caused by mutations: a completely made-up argument.
Many of these Young Earth proofs and arguments have been refuted so often and so easily that AiG really had no choice but to issue an article like this. But you can still find people using such silly and unconvincing arguments; the owners and contributors of most other creationist websites and blogs might do well to read some of these. With their "arguments we don't use" page being one of the more famous ones, they followed it up with 12 Arguments Evolutionists Should Avoid. This page isn't as good as the creationist one, as while evolutionists certainly shouldn't use them, you rarely find scientists actually using them at all. Indeed, things like "evolution is a fact like gravity" aren't actually arguments, but rhetoric.
Answers in WTF?
In spring 2009, AiG managed to get itself into a small(ish) controversy by shifting its publicity focus from creationism to the denigration of atheism in general. This resulted in a billboard and TV advertising campaign featuring a young boy pointing a gun straight at the viewer, stating "If God doesn't matter to him, do you?", thus implying that atheists, agnostics, or basically any non-Christian would be prone to murder. AiG claim that this was to highlight school shootings and their so-called links with Darwinism, but it's quite clear that they were just pissed off after atheists decided to get their own billboard.
This attitude of comparing atheism with school shootings is not isolated to their campaign. Their resident cartoonist Dan Lietha has produced a cartoon with very similar content. This indicates that this campaign was a sincere statement of AiG's belief, rather than an intentionally controversial, shock-value publicity stunt.
Answers in Genesis on Science
In an online publication called "Evolution Exposed", AiG managed to illustrate both their contempt for mainstream science, as well as their innate bias in their "research" in one simple paragraph:
“”Science has been hijacked by those with a materialistic worldview and exalted as the ultimate means of obtaining knowledge about the world. Proverbs tells us that the fear of God, not science, is the beginning of knowledge. In a biblical worldview, scientific observations are interpreted in light of the truth that is found in the Bible. If conclusions contradict the truth revealed in Scripture, the conclusions are rejected. The same thing happens in naturalistic science. Any conclusion that does not have a naturalistic explanation is rejected. Our emphasis
- Creation Ministries International
- Answers Research Journal
- Essay:AiG - Exploiting Credulous Fools Since 1995
- Answers in Genesis Dawkins interview controversy
- Conservapedia:Arguments creationists shouldn't use
- Genesis Park
- Play Day for Creationists
- AiG's "Statement of Faith"
- Affirmations and Denials Essential to a Consistent Christian (Biblical) Worldview
- Fossil sorting by the global flood
Members of Answers in Genesis
- Ken Ham
- Andrew Snelling
- Jason Lisle
- Buddy Davis
- Paul Chaffey: In addition to being a writer and website administrator for AiG, he also runs the ministry Midwest Apologetics, teaches "science" at Tri-State Christian School in Galena, Illinois, and is the content administrator for the Ark Encounter. He's one of the co-authors of "Old-Earth Creationism on Trial" with Jason Lisle.
- Their website
- Answers in Genesis BUSTEDOn this web-site a Godless Unbeliever seeks to UNDERMINE Ministry of AIG.
- Smug and delusional
- AiG begs for the cash needed to keep the Creation Museum open.
- Answers Research Journal
- Online debates on the subject just reduce to Answers in Genesis vs Talk.Origins.
- CMI's about us.
- AiG's history page.
- Lord of the Ring - The Australian, June 05, 2007
- "We’ll find a new earth within 20 years”
- AIG - Arguments we think creationists should NOT use.
- Moon Dust and the Age of the Solar System, Andrew Snelling and David Rush, April 1, 1993
- AiG - 12 Arguments Evolutionists Should Avoid
- Christianist (sic) Group's Billboard Compares Atheism To Murder
- Evolution Exposed. Chap 1 - What is Science?
- AiG Bio
- Midwest Apologetics
- Tri-State Christian Academy
- Old Earth Creationism on Trial