# Modern Science in the Bible

Cover, intelligently designed by David Sörensen. Notice the brag "more than 60,000 sold!". Creationists be like

Modern Science in the Bible: Amazing Scientific Truths Found in Ancient Texts (original title: Moderne Wetenschap in de Bijbel: De Bijbel is de wetenschap 3500 jaar vooruit) is a book by Dutch Young Earth creationist Ben Hobrink, published by Gideon in 2005. The book advocates biblical literalism in order to promote its key claim, biblical scientific foreknowledge, whilst also attacking evolution and other modern scientific views on the origin of Life, the Universe and Everything. The book is available in several languages, including Dutch, English, Arabic, Farsi, and Russian.

## General overview

### Structure of the book

Modern Science in the Bible is divided into eight chapters, plus a preface and some back matter, such as a list of references. The chapters are as follows:

Chapter 1: Modern Science in the Bible?
Introductory chapter, in which Hobrink explains why he decided to write the book. Note that Betteridge's law of headlines applies.
Chapter 2: Combat of epidemics
Hobrink does his best (but fails) to contend that the existence of ethical 'advanced' precautions against epidemics (e.g. kicking people suffering from leprosy out of the camp) show the Bible's divine origin.
Why God — in all his omnipotent omnibenevolence — didn't just proactively prevent all epidemics simply by not willing the relevant pathogens into being in the first place remains unexplained.
Chapter 3: Hygiene
More of the same, but this time about circumcision (which is not a hygienic practice to begin with, but a form of unnecessary surgery that risks infection) and washing yourself carefully behind the ears.
Chapter 4: Food
Hobrink goes on picking cherries whines on about how perfect the Biblical food laws are. For some reason, mouth-watering verses like Ezekiel 4:12's "thou shalt bake it with dung that cometh out of man" are ignored.
Chapter 5: Natural sciences
Striking out from the topics he is actually familiar with (biology and especially food sciences), Hobrink decides to subject physics, astronomy, geology, poetry, Bible interpretation and mathematics to his unwanted advances.
All the while, Hobrink conveniently ignores any arguments that might otherwise upset his pet theories on various highly implausible events, like the construction of an Ark by a senior citizen, or the premise of a hard reset global flood actually having taken place.
Chapter 6: Creation or evolution?
Despite the fact that this has nothing at all to do with Biblical scientific foreknowledge, Hobrink feels that he must help some of his orthodox buddies who are struggling to continually invoke the balance fallacy get over the giant pile of evidence against a recent creation (read: evidence in favor of evolution) by devoting the longest chapter of his book to this task.[note 1]
In doing so, he manhandles not just biology and the first and second law of thermodynamics,[1] but pretty much everything substantial produced by science in the past 150 years or so.
Dusting off every old Creationist hobby horse, Hobrink naturally invokes irreducible complexity,[2] presents c-decay as a solution to the starlight problem,[3] dabbles with baraminology[4] and actively mistakes 'evolution' for just about any theory that he does not like, including abiogenesis,[5] deep time[6] and cosmology generally (most prominently regarding the formation of the solar system).[7]
Chapter 7: The reliability of the Bible
Using a good deal of irrelevant facts, Hobrink decides to 'prove' the Bible's reliability. It goes about as well as one would expect.
Chapter 8: Some more facts
Hobrink employs random 'facts' to end his book. As usual, they are quite irrelevant (though they still serve nicely as stuffing).

After this comes a list of 'specially recommended books', as well as an extensive list of references and an index.

## Dissecting the book

### Preface

 In the Bible Modern Science
 According to Hobrink, "[t]he Bible is neither a handbook for modern natural sciences nor written to teach us physics, biology or astronomy."[8] Apparently, there is "an overwhelming amount of objective and verifiable facts, on history and natural sciences."[8] All one should do to find these, is "study the details of science and the Bible." As we will see below, Hobrink may have gone into too much detail, ignoring passages that contradict his point of view. S. I. McMillen's None of these Diseases is mentioned as a motivation to start looking for these 'facts',[9] though Hobrink scarcely references the book (see below).

 The preface ends with the words "In the Bible are no reports of scientific research, no reports of the corresponding experiments and results, but of the corresponding conclusions... Hence the title 'Modern Science in the Bible.'"[10] If there are just conclusions, it is not science. Hobrink appears to have forgotten that science relies on the scientific method, which does not deal in writing down some random 'conclusions'. Hobrink, being Dutch, should be familiar with Diederik Stapel.

### Chapter 1: Modern science in the Bible?

 In the Bible Modern Science
 Hobrink starts out with three facts which he claims prove the existence of Biblical scientific foreknowledge: hares that eat their own excrement[11] (Leviticus 11:6).[note 2] That is an astounding scientific discovery right there on the level with Newton and Einstein. Except, of course, that Leviticus says they chew their cud (like cows), not that they eat their own poop.

 The low rate of penis cancer among Jewish men, which he attributes to circumcision (and of course the 'eighth day') is also evidence that the Bible has divine inspiration; and of course the claim that Noah's Ark is the best boat model possible. He then concludes from this that "as our knowledge increases, we will discover more facts that correspond with the claims of the Bible." He probably does not realize that he is not far off: as knowledge increases, people find new ways to shoehorn those facts into the Bible. If the Bible really contained scientific knowledge, why is it always only after the scientific discovery has been made that someone decides the same information can also be found in the Bible? Also, one would think that the Lord God would arrange things such that, say, circumcisions done by his precepts would always prevent penis cancer while those done differently would always end catastrophically. Why must he insist on hiding behind statistical probabilities? Another problem: the Dogon people of Western Africa also performed circumcision while they did not follow any of the Abrahamic religions. A 2019 paper by Eran Elhaik, a Jewish researcher, found that neonatal circumcision increases risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.[12] Finally, if circumcision is indeed so beneficial, why did the early Church abrogate it for Gentile converts?

 A long rant follows, in which Hobrink explains how bad 'science' was in the past (anywhere from 1500 BCE to 1650 CE) - but luckily, there is a Moses ex machina to write some Holy Books in which he explains... nothing at all, really. He continues to explain that the Bible contains social laws dressed up as religion, after which he contradicts his earlier claims that the Bible should be read literally, by saying that we should read some passages as figures of speech, rather than actual statements about the physical world. Coincidentally, these particular passages are some of the bits that are quite inconvenient for Biblical literalists, such as the passage in Job 9:6 where the 'pillars of the Earth' are mentioned.[13] More importantly, the period he mentions comes before science as we know it even existed, since the scientific method was invented around 1650. So what he's really criticizing there is prescientific ideas, not modern science.

### Chapter 2: Combat of epidemics

 In the Bible Modern Science
 After some introductory paragraphs about how bad hygiene was 'back in the day', Hobrink spends six full pages (plus a one-page map) whining about how 'pervert' the inhabitants of Canaan were and how they worshipped 'false gods' and sacrificed their children, as well as some rhetoric concerning the horror that is gonorrhea. But fear not! Teh Bible haz da answerz! According to Leviticus 15:2, "[w]hen any man hath a running issue out of his flesh, because of his issue he is unclean." According to Hobrink, this refers to semen or any sort of secretion as a consequence of a sexual disease. Because such products can cause epidemics, and rules like these were uncommon among the surrounding ethnicities, the Bible must have been divinely inspired. Tjerk Muller comments that even while this may be correct, nothing is said about anything else produced by sick people: sweat, vomit, blood and such, even though those may cause diseases just as well.[14][note 3] Hobrink then mentions something said 'a few years ago' by a homeopathic doctor[note 4] about how dangerous gonorrhea is - this statement is from 1972, as it turns out. Also, since when are homeopaths reliable sources?

 Hobrink proceeds to claim that the Bible gives good directions to avoid the spread of leprosy (patients should be completely separated from the rest of the population). Of course, these 'guidelines' could just as well follow from a bit of common sense or even human emotion ("I don't want any of those sick people near me"). Muller's simple counterargument is that there are no directions for what should be done in case of any other disease - if God knows what to do in those cases, why not put that in the Bible as well?.[14] Speaking of which, why hasn't He told us what to do about cancer? Why did we have to figure out chemo and radiation theory on our own, and why won't He give us a straight-up cure?

 Next comes a long rant about how unhealthy medieval cities were and how deadly (duh) the Black Death was. Apparently, a Jewish doctor in Strasbourg decided that the ghetto was unhygienic and had to be cleaned up. As one might expect, the plague decided to leave as well. A few pages follow, claiming that Biblical standards form the basis for the modern concept of quarantine, as well as having stated rules for hygiene, which includes the making of toilets. Apparently, Hobrink has never wondered if people covered their shit with sand simply because it smelled and attracted a bunch of annoying flies.Yes, the Old Testament does have hygienic rules that lessened the disease's impact on Jewish communities, but here Hobrink seems to be advocating Judaism at the expense of Christianity, given that it was the Christians who were so hard-hit in medieval Europe.

### Chapter 5: Natural sciences

 In the Bible Modern Science
 To prove the validity of the Bible (which is, technically speaking, impossible if you, as Hobrink does, take the literal truth of the Bible as an axiom), Hobrink feels that he must take down a 'competing' Flood story, the Epic of Gilgamesh, to prove the validity of his own version. To do so, he points out that Uta-napisjtim's Ark was quite a crappy boat (which it indeed was) and that the water had not enough time to either rain down or dissipate away. Hobrink conveniently ignores that the Bible also fails to provide a way for the water to come to Earth (the rainwater had to come from somewhere) and to dissipate.

#### Noah's Ark

 In the Bible Modern Science
 He then claims that Noah's Ark was the best type of boat for this purpose, and that it was almost impossible to sink it.[16] The diagrams provided mainly explain why Uta-napisjtim's Ark would not hold, and appear to imply that any boat that isn't a cube will keep floating, no matter how high the waves.

 However, we are first presented with some calculations that supposedly prove that the Ark really could hold all those animals on board. The Ark, with a size of 150 x 25 x 15 metres, had a total volume of 56250 m3. Supposing that about a quarter of its size was occupied by all the woodwork, there would be some 42,000 cubic metres left for Noah, his family and the animals to live. Given that this is equal to some 555 standard American trainwagons, each capable of transporting 240 sheep, approximately 133,000 animals could have been transported aboard the Ark.[17] Up to this point in the book, Hobrink has managed to distinguish himself somewhat from other creationists, by using arguments that are not necessarily points refuted a thousand times (his arguments usually fall into the category 'somewhat less than a thousand'). Unfortunately, Hobrink has now abandoned that position, and has opted for straight baraminology in his attempts to explain how the Ark could hold so many animals. As with most of creationist mathematics, this calculation is riddled with problems. Hobrink has, for example, forgotten to take into account that the food needed to feed all those 133,000 sheep must be stored somewhere too.[note 5] As the Bible makes no mention of food falling from the sky à la Exodus, it is a mystery that the animals did not all starve to death. Furthermore, what about all the aisles needed to access the animals? In calculating the amount of animals, Hobrink forgot that Noah and his family have to live somewhere, too, so where is that? Also, your average sheep-transporting train wagon is not exactly designed to safely store 133,000 sheep for a year or so. Much less a large number of animals that would love to eat some of those sheep - not to mention the dinosaurs breaking out of their cages.

 After doing some more baraminology, Hobrink then claims that only animals that live on the land were aboard the Ark, and as there are some 20,000 species of them,[18][note 6] only 40,000 animals had to be taken aboard the Ark.[19] The claim that some 210,000 birds had to be taken aboard the Ark (apparently made by one of his own professors) is 'refuted' with more baraminology, plus the assertion (based on some very loose Bible interpretation) that Noah only had to take any animals that lived in his surroundings. Apparently, because Noah was instructed to take animals, this means that he only had to take animals from his surroundings (which raises the question why the Ark was necessary in the first place, if God saved all the other animals, and presumably plants and all the insects, separately anyway). Given the fact that Hobrink stated earlier on that some of the apparent contradictions in the Bible are due to 'figures of speech' and other linguistic quirks, one wonders why that is not the case here. Also, baraminology does not work.

#### A world-wide flood

 In the Bible Modern Science
 Geology is next on the list of scientific subjects to attack. In line with the old creationist tradition of claiming that the Grand Canyon is obvious evidence for Noah's Flood, Hobrink asserts that a river cannot make such sharp and symmetric meanders in hard rock. Furthermore, 75% of all sediment layers was formed by water, and more than half by seawater. We are presented with the statement that "[t]he findings of modern geology keep coming closer to the flood model... The only difference is the time scale."[20] Why do they keep coming closer? Well, because modern science holds that a comet hit the Earth some 65 million years ago. No, really. The source cited for the impossibility of meandering in hard rock is a publication by the Institute for Creation Research,[21] while the claims regarding sediments are supported by what appears to be a Master's thesis.[22] But, even if we ignore the fact that these are not the sources we're looking for, Hobrink's claims still make no sense. Suppose, for example, that there actually was a global flood, which had deposited vast amounts of soft sediment in what is now known as Arizona. This is somewhat comparable to a giant muddy plain. What happens if you let a stream of water flow through soft mud? Exactly, it carves out a more or less straight line. There may be some curvature as the water tries to find the easiest way through the terrain, but there will certainly not be any meandering of the sort we observe in the Grand Canyon. The other 'arguments' fail to take into account that the continents have not always been in the same location as they are nowadays, which is a pretty good explanation for the amount of sediment we observe today, especially considering the rising and lowering of the land.

 Many flood stories exist around the world - but the particular version I believe in is obviously right! Carl Gustav Jung's theory of the collective unconscious apparently doesn't exist, nor does Joseph Campbell. It is, however, true that many flood stories exist. Hobrink himself names several stories from all over the world (supported by creationist sources, though).[23][24][note 7] Indeed, there are several flood-and-Ark stories in a small area in the eastern Mediterranean: Dionysus,[26] Deucalion and Pyrrha,[27] the aforementioned Epic of Gilgamesh[28] (which Hobrink acknowledges exists) and of course the Jewish flood myth, as described in the Bible.

 Hobrink lists eight points that are 'recurring themes' in flood stories; they all have the first three characteristics, while the other ones are common as well: Complete destruction of all living things by means of water. An ark (or something along those lines) to escape. The rescue of some special remnant. The cause of the flood is man's disobedience. One man is warned beforehand and thus manages to save himself and his family and/or friends. Animals (usually a bird) play a role as fellow passengers on the ark, or to provide information on the situation after the flood. The ark eventually lands on a mountain. The survivors adore the deity and receive his boons.[29] He then claims that "evolutionist science" cannot explain this, since the stories come from groups of people that have been separated since prehistoric times, therefore God. Floods have a tendency to destroy things. When prehistoric man found himself having to run from a flood, he had no explanation for it and attributed it to some deity. Sound familiar? Clearly, if there was a global flood, somebody had to survive, otherwise there would be no story about it later. A large boat might be the best option for this. If nothing were saved from the flood, why do we still see life? It's pretty obvious that something survived. Human disobedience appears to be the cause for pretty much any suffering inflicted by god(s). Once again, somebody had to be saved. It's pretty logical that he also brought his family and friends. Most animals aren't very good to report on the situation outside. Birds can fly (allowing them to get outside of the ark) and also get back inside (which, for example, a fish can't). A mountain is the most logical place for a boat to land - it sticks out above the rest of the land around it. And since God was so generous as to kill every human being on this planet except us, he's an awesome God!

#### The Earth

 In the Bible Modern Science
 The Earth's water cycle cannot be skipped. According to Ecclesiastes 1:7, "All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again." Job 36:28 also states that "He maketh small the drops of water: they pour down rain according to the vapour thereof." Apparently, Hobrink assumes that people in Biblical times were too stupid to notice that (a) rivers end at seas; (b) the sea does not appear to rise, despite continuously being fed (it does rise because of other causes, though); and (c) that clouds contain water. What's also interesting is that Hobrink did not use the usual Statenvertaling ('States translation', the Dutch equivalent of the King James Bible), but the Willibrordvertaling (Willibrord translation, which is used in Dutch catholic events since 1964) instead. Why is that? Well, the Statenvertaling merely says that the rivers keep flowing,[30] whereas the Willibrordvertaling appears to state that they actually go back.[31] When reading this rather literally (which Hobrink does, as long as it's convenient) one might infer from this that the Statenvertaling claims that rivers return as rivers. This is highly inconvenient for his interpretation, since it conflicts with the aforementioned water cycle. This passage is also a bit of a quote mine, as the surrounding passage explains that "there is nothing new under the Sun." The idea of rivers that simply keep flowing fits perfectly into this context, which also speaks of the Sun that rises and sets every day and generations of men that come and go.[30] In fact, a few verses earlier it is said that "the earth abideth for ever", which is something Hobrink does not really like (in Chapter 6, he claims the Big Bang proves that God exists). The fact that the writers of the Willibrord translation stated in the introductions of some passages in their translation (such as Judges and Chronicles) that they aren't accurate representation of the historical reality has to be the cherry on top.

 The fact that a thunderstorm is incredibly heavy (some six billion tonnes, according to Hobrink)[32] and that 'science' does not know exactly why clouds float, is taken as a sign of the Bible's divine inspiration, as is some vague mention of the 'weight of the wind'. This is not 'scientific foreknowledge' but 'scientific ignorance'.

 Mattew F. Maury, the man that (some say) first discovered ocean currents, is said to have based his discoveries on Psalm 8:9:[33] "The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas." Evidently, this refers to the ocean currents. The rest of the section is spent mentioning random useless facts about Maurey and ocean currents. "The paths of the seas" sounds more like another figure of speech; rather than actual paths, the Psalmist was probably trying to find a nice poetic phrase for "and everything else that lives in the sea". Even if this were an actual reference to some sort of paths, it could just as well refer to routes taken by the aforementioned "fish of the sea" or to ship routes.

 The shape of the Earth next on the 'discussion list': The Hindus believed that the Earth was born by an elephant, which stood on the back of a giant turtle that swam around in the cosmic sea. The ancient Greeks thought that the giant Atlas bore the world on his shoulders. Some scientists in the early Middle Ages thought the Earth was flat and stood on pillars.[34] We are next provided with some quotes from various Bible passages that supposedly indicate that the Earth is spherical; including the most famous one: "It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth".[35] Although that bit about the Hindus is probably true,[36] Hobrink's claims regarding the ancient Greeks are blatantly wrong. According to Greek mythology, Atlas bore the heavens (i.e. the firmament), not the Earth or any other meaning of 'world'. However, as Plato, Aristotle and others were ancient Greeks as well, this statement is at odds with every bit of reality they have left us. Plato, in the Timaeus, provides us with an account of the creation of the universe, which includes a spherical, free-floating Earth.[37][38] Aristotle made an attempt to fix the retrograde motion shown by the planets and explained why the Earth must almost certainly be spherical;[39][40][41] Lucretius (following the philosophy of Epicurus) described another spherical-Earth-model;[42] Heraclides of Pontus postulated a rotating Earth;[43] Aristarchus of Samos came up with a heliocentric model of the Solar system (some 1700 years prior to Copernicus);[44][45][46] and Eratosthenes calculated the Earth's diameter with surprising accuracy, as well as the distances to and sizes of the moon and the sun.[47][48][49] We might reasonably say that the ancient Greeks were a whole lot more explicit, scientific and precise with their descriptions of the spherical Earth and of the Solar system. The claim that Bible supports a spherical earth is disputed by Chritians. The founding book of the modern Flat-Earth movement - Earth not a Globe cited the Bible 76 times to support Flat-Earth.[50] Another noted Flat-Earther in USA, was the evangelical Reverend Vilbur Voliva. It has been noted that the modern Flat Earth movement is based on the Bible. Incidentally, today, a good majority of Flat-Earthers are religious Christians.[51] The KJV is rather inconvenient with this particular Bible quote, as it says 'circle', not 'sphere'. The Statenvertaling, however, uses a word that may be interpreted as 'sphere', but could just as well refer to any other chunk of material.

 'Atheistic thinkers' want to portray the Bible as a stupid book, so they claim it was responsible for the Flat Earth myth. This is declared to be bollocks, since the ancient Greeks already knew that the Earth was spherical - wait, what? Awkwardly enough, those 'atheistic thinkers' are right (people do claim that the Earth is flat because Biblesaysso).

 Galileo wasn't suppressed by the Roman Catholic Church, but by King Arthur because he thought he knew too much about politics 'secular scientists'. The Church leaders mostly supported Galileo (taking a spherical Earth from Plato and Aristotle), but turned against him because he didn't do as they wanted. The only reason the Bible was brought into the discussion was because it was the only source of authority in those days, both for churchmen and scientists. The Galilean affair was not a victory of science over Christianity, but of "a scientist who dared to expose the wrong ideas of mainstream science."[52] If the Church leaders supported Galileo, why did they imprison him for heresy? Also, Galileo's source of authority wasn't the Bible, but his telescope - which does make this case a victory of proper science over pseudoscience, Biblical literalism and ultra-orthodox Christianity. In fact, at least one Protestant leader opposed the Copernican system because the Bible said otherwise.[53][54][55] This bit about the wrongness of mainstream science signals something of a Galileo gambit, as well as Hobrink probably identifying himself with Galileo and his resistance against "evil mainstream science". What makes this case even more interesting is that in 1227, Bishop Tempier of Paris issued a decree on the authority of Pope John XXI, in which several 'heretical' thoughts and propositions were condemned, among them such statements as "that on any question, a man ought not to be satisfied with certitude based upon authority" and "that nothing is known better because of knowing theology."[56] Other propositions condemned included "that God could not move the heavens with rectilinear motion, and the reason is that a vacuum would remain" and "that the first cause could not make several worlds."[56] As Steven Weinberg comments, the importance of these condemnations is not the content of the propositions condemned, but the reason they are rejected: the existence of any 'laws of nature' would interfere with God's omnipotence.[57] Ironically, Pope John was killed by the law of gravity a few months later, when the roof of his palace collapsed on him.[58] So, whatever Hobrink may claim, the Catholic Church (and religion in general) has hindered science.

Christianity is superior to other religions:

Christian faith never constrained science - it stimulated it! Only Christian countries have done systematic scientific research. Other religions have never shown any interest in scientific research. No, they were opposed to it, because the surrounding nature was regarded as divine.[59]

Also, Christianity (together with Islam) is the only religion that regards nature as an ordered system, rather than chaos.[60]

• "Christian faith never constrained science"
Well, given the fact that many people reject modern science in favour of a literal interpretation of ancient Christian texts, we may conclude that this is simply not true.
• "Only Christian countries have done systematic scientific research."
The research performed in medieval Baghdad was pretty impressive too, thanks for noticing.[61] Also, Aristotle?[62][63] Euclid?[64][65] Diophantus,[66][67] Archimedes,[68] Aristarchus?[44][45][46] The argument is also a blatant post hoc, ergo propter hoc: modern science arose largely in Christian countries (i.e., western Europe and later also the United States), therefore it arose because of Christianity. While some other Christian authors appear to support this idea,[69] the rise of science is a complex process which does not rest solely on Christianity or any other religion - hilariously, it may be a consequence of the allegorical interpretation of the Bible.[70]
• "Other religions have never shown interest in research and were opposed to it."
You really didn't bother to read Lucretius or Epicurus, did you? Well, both of them praise scientific research for its ability to allow mankind to comprehend the world and (mind this bit) dispel the fear that comes from religion.[71][72] Oh, wait, that's why you didn't read it. Also, did you never notice that science first arose in ancient Greece, long before the rise of Christianity?[73][74][75][76][77][78][79]
• "Christianity and Islam are the only religions that regard nature as an ordered system."
Once again this is patently false. Plato regards nature as extremely ordered as well,[80][81] as does Lucretius.[82]

Regarding the claim that Christian faith doesn't constrain science, we would like to quote a particular astrophysicist:

 “”The day you stop looking because you’re content God did it, I don’t need you in the lab. You’re useless on the frontier of understanding the nature of the world. —Neil deGrasse Tyson, responding to a rather famous mouthspewing from Bill O'Reilly.[83]

#### Astronomy

 In the Bible Modern Science
 Still not agreeing with his fellow Christians who are of the opinion that the Book of Job is to be read poetically, rather than literally,[84] Hobrink proceeds to interpret a passage from said book in a very literal (and rather doubtful) way: Two constellations named in the Bible, are Orion and the Pleiades. In Job 38:31 the difference between two constellations is explained: "Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?"[85] It turns out that the stars that together make the constellation we know as Orion are in fact at great distances from each other, whereas the Pleiades are close together. The silly thing about this claim is that one might just as well interpret it the other way around: the Pleiades are not bound, but if He wished to, God could make them bound, while he could also "loose the bands of Orion". What makes this even more interesting is that the Pleiades are, in fact, slowly falling apart.[86][87] Given this new information, Hobrink's interpretation is incorrect, and we are forced to accept the second interpretation. This, however, leads to a problem regarding the claims about Orion: if Orion isn't bound either, why does the Bible then speak of binding him anyway? In reality, there is a completely different reason for the specific language mentioned here. In Greek mythology, the Pleiades were the seven daughters of Atlas. After their father was sentenced to bearing the Universe on his shoulders, his seven daughters were chased by the hunter Orion. Eventually, the Greek gods had had enough of the situation, and changed Orion and the Pleiades into stars.[88] This explains (a) why Orion is usually depicted as a man with a club chasing the constellation Pleiades; (b) why the Pleiades (who are running from Orion) can only be 'bound' by God; and (c) why Orion has bounds that can only be loosened by God - and all of this without requiring a magic man in the sky to write it down! As the Book of Job was most likely written in the 7th or 6th century BCE,[89] the Hebrews may well have been influenced by the Greek conception of constellations, allowing for Greek mythology to sneak into the Bible.

 In Genesis 22:17, God tells Abraham "That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore". In antiquity, only around a thousand stars were known, whereas modern astronomers have estimated that there may be as many as 1026 stars. Also, in Jeremiah 33:22 it is said that "the host of heaven cannot be numbered" - which must mean that Jeremiah had access to some special information. A hypothetical conversation between Jeremiah and Babylon's 'top astronomer' follows, in which the astronomer holds the view that there are at maximum some 9,000 stars (which is, by the way, the modern estimate of the amount of stars that can be seen from Earth without a telescope) and that Jeremiah (having exactly zero training in astronomy) should STFU, whereas Jeremiah proclaims that the number of stars is uncountable, 'cuz Gawd told him so. Let's conduct a small experiment. Go outside on a dark night (preferably somewhere where there's not too much light) and look up to the sky. What do you see? Right, lots and lots of stars. Can you count them? Probably not. Given that ancient Israel probably had much less light pollution than most places on Earth do today, you could have spotted even more stars. So, what's more likely? That Jeremiah had some kind of 'special knowledge' of astronomy that allowed him to know this - or that he simply looked up to the skies and had some sense of poetry? Sure, one might argue that the former is true, because the Bible is divinely inspired, which is shown by such passages as these which display scientific foreknowledge - oh, wait. Also, Jeremiah knowing this because God told him so is indistinguishable from him pulling this from his rear end - making this another example of 'biblical unscientific foreknowledge'. The conversation between Jeremiah and the top astronomer appears to be a thinly veiled version of an imaginary conversation between Hobrink himself (Jeremiah) and a modern 'top scientist'. While the astronomer/scientist kindly points out to Jeremiah/Hobrink that the latter has no formal training at all in the scientific topic at hand, the response is simply that "God says so, therefore I'm right." If this 'Jeremiah gambit' is Hobrink's justification for the next chapter (in which he butchers much of modern science by his attempt to attack evolution), one wonders how he dares to call his book Modern Science in the Bible.

#### Probability theory

 In the Bible Modern Science
 Probability theory is an interesting area in modern natural sciences. If you flip a coin a thousand times, you'll get approximately five hundred heads and five hundred tails. A thousands heads would mean that something special is going on. Or, as another example, if one were to predict in 1880 that in 1980 an queen named Beatrix would be crowned, that would certainly be a miracle.[note 8] While probability theory is certainly an interesting area, it is a part of mathematics, not natural sciences. It is indeed quite unlikely that a thousand coin flips will return a thousand heads, or that one can predict the exact inauguration date and name of a future monarch. That said, though: improbable things happen. In his book Unweaving the Rainbow, Richard Dawkins spends an entire chapter explaining how probability works, and why some seemingly unlikely things really do happen, without any divine interventions.[90]

 The Bible contains many prophecies, all of which have shown themselves to be true. A mathematician, professor Stoner, has calculated the odds that 48 prophecies about Jesus's life would all come true.[91] [...] The odds that all these 48 prophecies about Jesus's life were to come true is 1:10157. In other words: a chance of 1:1[157 zeroes emitted due to markup breaking]."[92][note 9] This reasoning, while it certainly looks impressive, lacks justification for one of its key premises: that the prophecies actually came true. Hobrink himself provides the example of Jesus being born in Bethlehem (predicted in Micah 5:1, 'fulfilled' in Matthew 2:1), but any other prophecy will work just as well. Simply put: how do we know that Jesus was born in Bethlehem? Because it's in the Bible. Why would we accept that as a literal truth? Because the Bible makes so many accurate prophecies that it must have been divinely inspired. How do we know that those prophecies came true? Because it says so in the Bible. See what's wrong here? The Old Testament was clearly widely available in the environment in which the Gospels were composed.So the authors of the Gospels could as well have invented details to prove Jesus as the messiah. In fact, they pulled sentences out of context,and assumed them to be prophecies about the Messiah.[93] Jewish scholars reject the claim of Jesus being a Messiah on the basis of his failure to fulfill prophecies.[94][95] In addition, it should be noted that his claim that all prophesies in the Bible have been fulfilled is provably false, as many are unfulfilled or have actually failed.

The maor famous of these is Jesus's prophecy of his Second Coming within a generation.

### Chapter 6: Creation or evolution?

 In the Bible Modern Science
 After some rants against 'unscientific' creation myths in other cultures (e.g. the Babylonian and Egyptian versions), Hobrink claims that Darwin's On the Origin of Species was one of the main causes of the split between religion and science, and that "from that time on the idea that life on Earth was not created by a God, but came about by pure coincidence. Life then developed itself from a single-celled organism into the millions of plants and animals we know nowadays. This is called the 'theory of evolution'."[96] But of course, he's wrong. The idea that life wasn't made by some creator is at least as old as the third century BCE (where it can be found in Epicurus)[97] and perhaps even older (Epicurus's work was inspired by that of Democritus, who held approximately the same ideas regarding God and the origin of Life, the Universe and Everything).[98] Anyway, evolution is not a theory or model of life's origins—it's biology! The idea that the universe was created by God some 6,000 years ago is not strikingly different from the idea that, say, the Earth rests on a tower of tortoises,[36] since both appeal to concepts that (a) are completely unscientific and (b) lack any supporting evidence (although we'll have to confess, the 'turtle tower' is more easily falsified).

 In high school, Hobrink could apparently 'believe' in evolution as a general concept, but encountered problems when he had a look at the details. "How could such a refined and almost unnatural organ like the eye ever have come about by chance?"[96] Even then, he could 'believe' in evolution, but was left with three big questions to which nobody could give a satisfactory answer: How did matter form? How did life form? How did the human mind (consciousness) arise?[96] The careful study of nature reveals even more questions and problems for evolution, and shows that the facts fit much better with the theory of creation than with the theory of evolution. I find your lack of understanding of evolution disturbing. Before debunking starts, please note that evolution is not something you 'believe' in. It is a scientific theory, which is no more a matter of belief than, say, gravity. Or is it? Concerning his doubts about the eye, Hobrink could have taken the time to read that bit of On the Origin of Species which creationists usually don't quote: the part just after the infamous "absurd in the highest degree" quote mine, where Darwin takes several pages to explain how something as complicated as the eye could have arisen,[99] not by mere 'chance' (a straw man of evolution which creationists like to use), but by natural selection. The first question will be dealt with below (though it is irrelevant to evolution); the second one, concerning abiogenesis (also not evolution, though it may be considered somewhat relevant), is a work in progress (though it's not as if we have no clue at all); the third one is a question for philosophy and evolutionary psychology and also for Daniel Dennett and Douglas Hofstadter, who have dealt with the subject in books like Consciousness Explained[100] and Freedom Evolves[101] and in Gödel, Escher, Bach,[102] respectively. The last phrase is blatantly wrong. There is a reason why the scientific consensus is overwhelmingly in favor of evolution (and some other theories Hobrink doesn't like).[103] Creationism is not a theory, not like evolution. It is a failed hypothesis at best, and a pseudoscientific one, at that.

#### Modern biology

##### Absolute boundaries
 In the Bible Modern Science
 When Darwin observed variation in a group of animals (microevolution), he inferred a complete evolution of life (macroevolution). Such an inference was very premature, as nobody has ever observed any form of macroevolution. Variations occur only within sharply defined bounds: roses remain roses, pigs remain pigs, and a pigeon does not turn into a crow. A footnote provides us with some information revealing Hobrink's knowledge of evolution: Microevolution is actually a misleading term, as it has nothing to do with evolution, but only with variation of already present characteristics.[104] Darwin did not simply 'infer' a giant theory of evolution just because he saw some similarities in the famous Darwin finches. On the Origin of Species is a thick book for a reason: Darwin did a lot of research - as opposed to Hobrink, who mostly cherry picked some facts he found, or copied them from other creationists.[note 10] The claim about 'premature inference' is quite something to say for somebody who will not accept that the Bible is not literally true even if science shows it is.[105] Richard Dawkins has pointed out that little children tend to do the same when Santa Claus is concerned.[106] If the boundaries for 'microevolution' are so sharply defined, would you care to actually define them, rather than just give a few examples which have nothing at all to do with evolution? No, you won't. Because you can't. The only difference between microevolution and macroevolution is the time scale on which they occur. As Wikipedia already existed in 2005, Hobrink could have taken a moment to simply look up a very neat definition of evolution: Evolution is change in the heritable traits of biological populations over successive generations. According to Hobrink's (absent) definition, evolution is not the same as variation of (phenotypic) characteristics - but as such variation is caused by a change in heritable traits (which is evolution), we are left with a strange contradiction.

 "Two species of animals belong to the same basic type if their gametes can fertilise each other."[107] Variations within one such species can become so great, that two different varieties do not mate, creating a new subspecies; if they grow apart even further, an entire new species may form. "Such has happened to horse and donkey, sheep and goat, rat and mouse, duck and goose."[107] However, all varieties always fall within the same basic type. Given this definition of a 'basic type', or baramin, we're apparently talking about ordinary genera (singular: genus), not about some sort of 'specially created basic type'. Why would you then introduce this new distinction? To add to the silliness, Hobrink has just stated that rats and mice are of the same kind, whereas he previously implicitly identified a 'kind' with a genus. However, rats and mice are different genera (rattus and mus, respectively), making this a rather hilarious contradiction, especially as Hobrink considers himself a biologist who is qualified to write books on evolution and taxonomy.

 The baraminology continues: Between the kinds of different basic types, the situation is fundamentally different. Their sperm cells and egg cells cannot fertilise each other. [...] Had there been evolution from one basic type to another, not only would the receptor proteins have to be changed by chance, but the countless proteins in egg and sperm cells should all have been changed at the same time.[108][109] Once again we are presented with a fine example of Hobrink's complete failure to understand evolution. He appears to think that there is some sort of platonic type of 'kind', and that evolution means species 'hop' between these kinds. This is, of course, complete bollocks. Evolution is a divergent process, not a horizontal one.

 Hobrink acknowledges that DNA exists, and even that it can mutate, but the rest of modern science is not to his liking: It is often said that mutations prove evolution, but the contrary is true. It may happen that a species is more adapted to its surroundings due to a mutation, but the total adaptive power always decreases. [...] Peter Scheele wrote a convincing book about this, titled Degeneration: The end of evolution.[110][111] Given the definition quoted above ("change in heritable traits of biological populations over successive generations"), mutations, in a sense, are evolution (provided that they are passed on to an organism's offspring). Hobrink seems to think that evolution implies that an organism should be adapted to all possible circumstances - which is not the case. Evolution simply makes an animal adapt to its current circumstances. Peter Scheele is a Dutch creationist who has no formal training in biology and fails to understand high school biology.[112]

 To support his claim, two geneticists are quoted: One of the greatest authorities on mutations has said that "more than 99 per cent of mutations are harmful".[113] The remaining one per cent is mostly harmless, and very rarely positive. Never is any new genetic material created.[111] The "evolutionist professor Goldschmidt" has said that "it is true that nobody has ever succeeded in creating a new species or genus by means of mutation".[114] The apparent 'great authority' (H. J. Muller) wrote the particular piece referenced in 1950 - three years before Watson and Crick discovered the structure of DNA. Claiming that Muller is an authority on mutations is something like saying that Isaac Newton is an authority on gravity: Newton's authority has pretty much vanished with the advent of general relativity. Furthermore, we know that some mutations are useful, and that they add new genetic information: Richard Lenski's famous 20-year E. coli experiment showed this very clearly.[115] Although one brave soul felt the urge to challenge Lenski's results, we know how that ended: in severe pwnage for the creationists. The reference to Goldschmidt suffers from the same problem as that to Muller: Goldschmidt was writing in 1952, before the advent of modern genetics. More recent research has succeeded in creating new genera.[116]

#### Laws of nature

 In the Bible Modern Science
 Apparently, biology and geology prove evolution to be impossible. Other sciences, however, do add even more to this. Not even close. Biology and geology both support evolution very strongly. Corroborating evidence comes from other branches of science, including astronomy, physics, genetics, etc.

##### Thermodynamics
 In the Bible Modern Science
 "[The First Law of Thermodynamics] is one of the most important laws of nature. All scientists, evolutionists and creationists alike, believe that all that exists is subject to this law."[117] Hobrink concludes from this that, if energy cannot possibly be created or destroyed, the universe cannot have come into existence by the Big Bang (which he describes as an exploding primordial atom) and therefore Goddidit. Even though Hobrink is not a physicist or anything near it, he apparently considers himself to be an authority on the subject. All that the first law of thermodynamics really states, is that heat can be used to generate work.[118] The law of conservation of energy follows from this. In fact, Hobrink has shot himself in the foot by stating that everything that exists is subject to the First Law of thermodynamics. One page later, he claims that God is not subject to this law and therefore was able to poof the universe into existence. However, if everything that exists is subject to the First Law, but God is not, it follows God does not exist! (Or, that Hobrink is weakening his argument by engaging in special pleading.) One might write this argument down in a more formal way, E being all that exists, T all that is subject to the First Law of thermodynamics, and G God: Failed to parse (PNG conversion failed; check for correct installation of latex and dvipng (or dvips + gs + convert)): E \subset T Failed to parse (PNG conversion failed; check for correct installation of latex and dvipng (or dvips + gs + convert)): G \notin T Failed to parse (PNG conversion failed; check for correct installation of latex and dvipng (or dvips + gs + convert)): \therefore G \notin E [note 11] You think you just outsmarted this guy? Think again. The simple fact is that we don't really know how the universe got here. The best model we currently have involves negative energy, which is a consequence of gravity. While matter has positive energy (following E=mc2), gravity causes negative energy: it costs energy to separate a system which is bound by gravity.[119] While this does not mean that new matter can be created locally, the instability of space-time as a whole can have an energy of zero - allowing an entire universe to pop into existence without violating any law of physics.[120][121] For the record, the idea that a universe can be created from pretty much nothing has been around since the 1970s,[122][123] while the fact that the universe has a total energy of zero was known ten years earlier.[124][125] Even the folks over at the Logos Institute (which Hobrink endorses)[126][127] appear to understand the concept of negative energy,[128] but Hobrink himself fails to come even close. The fact that all these ideas are still very much a work in progress, however, does not mean that "I don't know how it works, therefore God" is anything even close to valid reasoning.

 The Bible is the only book in world history (other than the Qur'an, which is largely based on the Bible) which posits that the universe had a beginning. Even a great scientist like Albert Einstein believed that the universe was eternal, until in 1922 he was forced to admit that there was a beginning. He later called this stubbornness "the greatest mistake of his life." You just argued that the Big Bang is impossible (and you will do so again, see below), but now you accept the findings of modern science? Talk about hypocrisy. More importantly, the reason Einstein (and the rest of modern scientists) accept(ed) the Big Bang theory is because they were presented with evidence. They accepted another point of view, rather than sticking to their own, because there was a massive pile of evidence for a Big Bang. That's the difference between science and creationism: while science accepts whatever model is best at explaining the facts and makes testable predictions, creationism adheres to a literal interpretation of the Bible no matter what.[note 12]

 The second law of thermodynamics states that "every system that is left to itself falls into disorder". Everything in the universe is subject to this law, and only life can create or maintain order. However, if there was no life, God must have created it. "Disorder" is an incredibly vague term, which is hardly used in textbooks nowadays. Hobrink's description of entropy is in fact an analogy used in schools to get across the general idea; it's not the definition of entropy. Instead, one might define entropy as a measure of the number of possible internal states of a system: $S=k_{B}ln(W)$ In which S is the entropy of a system, kB Boltzmann's constant, and W the total number of possible internal states.[130] This entropy always increases: $\mathrm{d}S}{\mathrm{d}t$ Yet even using this horribly inaccurate definition of the second law, Hobrink can easily be proven wrong. Even without life, order can be 'created' in a really simple way: gravity. Planets, stars, entire galaxies are formed by the attractive force of gravity - all without any interference of any living being. Hobrink, of course, denies the otherwise universally accepted model for star and planetary formation,[131] but we'll take one piece of denialism at a time. Moreover, life does not 'create' order from nothing. The only reason life (or any other agent, for that matter) is able to generate order in one place is because a greater disorder is created in another place. In the classic illustration of the second law (in which a room or a building gets more and more messy over time), a human being could make the disorder of the room decrease (by cleaning up the mess), but in the process of doing so they would consume chemical energy (stored in their body) which is released into the environment as thermal energy, thereby increasing the total disorder of the system. There is, after all, a reason why one RationalWikian's textbook on biological physics[132] states that "[plants and animals] consume order, not energy."[133]

 It is said that in some cases, order can form without interference of living beings. Ice crystals are an example of this. The reason this is possible is that such crystals have a low energy level (although this is difficult to explain without using technical formulas), and molecules tend to assume the lowest energy level possible. Crystal formation releases energy, while destroying one costs energy. Organic molecules, on the other hand, have a high energy level, which means that they require energy to be put in and thus cannot form spontaneously. This actually exists. Another argument is that the Earth is not a closed system, but receives energy from the Sun. This makes no sense either, as the energy contained in light is not a useful form of energy. The argument is akin to claiming that throwing a bomb into a pile of building materials will construct a building. This can only be done by chlorophyll, which would have to be formed before other organic compounds and is also irreducibly complex.[134] First of all, Hobrink deserves some applause for acknowledging that the Sun exists and radiates energy to Earth. The bit about the ice crystals is correct too - but that's about it. The "technical formulas" really aren't that difficult; all you really need to know is $T = \left( \frac{\mathrm{d}S}{\mathrm{d}E}\right)^{-1}$[135] We can see, however, why Hobrink did not present his audience with some of the (indeed rather technical) formulas relating to the second law, such as the Sakur-Tetrode formula: $2 \pi ^{3N/2}}{(3N/2-1)!} \right) (2mE)^{3N/2} V^N \frac{1}{N!} (2\pi \hbar)^{-3N} \frac{1}{2$ [136] Organic molecules do indeed need some form of 'outside energy' to form. Could it be that there is some sort of giant ball of plasma at in the sky, providing the Earth with incredible amounts of high-quality energy? There is, according to Hobrink. However, he is of the opinion that solar energy is somehow not 'useful'. This is, of course, complete bullshit: the energy contained in photons emitted by the Sun is of a very high quality and can be used for a lot of processes, including the 'powering' of primitive life. In fact, the Sun emits so much energy that all current life forms could have evolved in 116 days (if the amount of energy were the only limiting factor).[137] What makes this situation even more interesting is that almost the entire text on the second law of thermodynamics is devoid of references - it's almost as if no credible sources could be found. That said, Talk Origins already existed back in 2005, including articles on thermodynamics,[138] so a lack of sources should not have been a problem. Peter Atkins is not amused. What makes the situation even more silly is that organic molecules, in some situations, are less 'ordered' than a random group of atoms. This may be compared to a blob of oil which is dropped in a volume of water: rather than spreading through the water (which at first seems the most logical thing to do), the oil stays together in a neat blob.[139] How could this possibly happen? The answer lies in the fact that oil molecules are mostly hydrophobic: they don't mix very well with water. To allow them to mix, a sort of 'molecular cage' must be formed from water molecules - which would cause an increase in the orderliness of the water-oil mixture.[140] Proteins are formed through a similar process, though the situation is a bit more complicated here. The α-helix found in DNA and proteins has most of the hydrophobic groups on the inside: this way, not nearly as many molecular cages need to be formed.[141][note 13] Besides, the hydrogen bonds that link together the different parts of the helix (and aid in 'tying it together' as well) are relatively easy to form: so easy, in fact, that they release energy upon being formed, even though Hobrink claimed that this only applies to crystal-like structures.[142]

##### Complexity of the cell
 In the Bible Modern Science
 Evolution postulates that life formed a few billion years ago in the primordial seas. Molecules bumped into each other at random, in which they happened to form more complex molecules, which went on for millions of years and eventually formed life. If, however, we look at the biochemical processes going on in a cell, we find that those incredibly complex structures could not possibly have arisen by chance from inanimate matter. Furthermore, all the proteins in a cell are extraordinarily well built and organised. The second law of thermodynamics makes this impossible. For the sake of argument, however, we will take the following absurd and impossible situation: Once a molecule has been formed in the primordial sea, it never falls apart. All the necessary components for formation are within reach of the molecule.[143] Actually, a self-reproducing molecule does not need to be too long, something which was realised as early as 1996.[144] Much work has been done on the so-called RNA world, the hypothesis that life originally consisted of RNA-based organisms, rather than DNA-based ones, and the results look promising.[145][146] Furthermore, the second law of thermodynamics does not make it impossible for cells to be organised - in fact, it prevents certain organic molecules from falling apart, as that would imply a decrease in entropy.[147] This argument follows the common straw man, claiming that all interactions in evolution are completely random. A moment of consideration of what evolution actually says will refute that idea, since natural selection is, by definition, not random. Early life wouldn't have been nearly as complex as modern life forms. The amazing intricacy we see inside the cell is the result of millions billions of years of nature's trial and error (set in motion by God, if you like), where complexities that arose randomly which worked well were selected for, and complexities that didn't work well died out.

The stupidity continues:

As we know, protein molecules are made of twenty different amino acids at most. Suppose that a simple amino acid with a size of 100 amino acids were to come about by chance; the odds of a molecule arranging itself in s particular pattern are 1 in 20100, or 1 in 10130.[148]

An attempt to illustrate how large the number 10130 is follows, though it is unclear why this is needed. Hobrink attempts to show that "if all electrons in the universe were to react one billion times per second", one would "have only a one percent chance of such a simple protein forming in a thousand billion billion universes".[6] Besides, an average gene has a chance of just 1 in 10600 of forming.[149]

The above calculations are difficult to understand,[note 14] but the give an impression of the impossibility of even a single "living molecule" coming about by chance. And then one has to consider that the simplest living creature, a micrococcus, is made up of more than 200.000 highly complex molecules. [...] Do you really think all of this has come about by chance? Impossible, even if you had 100 billion years![6]

Instead of coming up with new arguments, Hobrink simply repeats his previous claims that molecules cannot possibly form because they are too complex. Most of his text is simply padding, filled with attempts to explain how small such odds are, without first establishing that the odds are actually as small as he claims. He has, for example, not taken into account that some combinations are naturally easier to form than others, or that self-replicating molecules can be very small. And no serious scientist on Earth believes that life as we know it came about "by chance". It came about by natural selection - the very opposite of chance.

The single source Hobrink cites[150] (one of the seven references to a scientific journal in all of Chapter 6) is from 1971 - not what one would call "up to date" - and makes use of some mathematics that has been thoroughly refuted by (among others) Richard Carrier in an article in Biology and Philosophy:

Clearly, the Argument from Biogenesis for the Existence of God requires extensive interaction with all the relevant and up-to-date scientific literature. To succeed it requires the actual refutation of all known viable natural explanations, in order to overcome the god-of-the-gaps fallacy and the inference to naturalism. Since there are many natural explanations that are not physically impossible, the only option left is to prove them all effectively impossible, i.e. too improbable to credit. And one can only do this successfully by avoiding all seven of the common errors surveyed above.

[...]

Even if someone successfully carries off all seven requirements (and no one yet has or is soon likely to), they must still arrive at an improbability of natural protobiont assembly that is greater than 1050 to 1 against, or possibly 10150 to 1 against (or maybe even more, we don't really know for sure). And this seems an insurmountable obstacle. For we already know of selfreplicating molecules so simple that their natural assembly seems almost guaranteed given the vast size and age of the universe. Consequently, the development of a successful AFB seems highly improbable in light of current scientific facts.[151]

The article cited by Hobrink also explicitly states that evolution is undeniable, and that it is only abiogenesis he wishes to address; thus, Hobrink has provided us with an example of cherry picking at its finest:

 “”First, let me emphasize that it is quite foolish to doubt most of the evolutionary story. The fossils are there, and their mute testimony is overwhelming evidence that numerous forms of life have existed on earth over immense spans of time. [...] Fundamentalist writers and others have tried to provide reasonable explanations for the fossils, but these are never convincing. [...] Gene frequencies do change in populations as a result of selection pressures. This has been observed in the field and duplicated in the laboratory. No scientific fact could be demonstrated more clearly. —[152]

 Yet more arguments from improbability follow: Scientists have calculated that the genetic material in a cell contains as much information as 2,000 books of 600 pages with 500 words per page, or 3 billion letters. That is about the same as 600 Bibles. So the odds of a cell coming about by chance are as small as a monkey typing a complete Bible 600 times. In other words: that's the same as throwing 3 billion separate letters into the air and 2,000 perfectly written books form all by themselves.[153] The repetitiveness of Hobrink's arguments is starting to become rather silly. For a serious response, see above; for a response wondering about his seriousness, see below.

#### Signs of a young Earth

 In the Bible Modern Science
 Even though pretty much every scientist in the world agrees that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old, they're all wrong because I say so! All textbooks, libraries and television programmes suggest that it has been proven that the Earth is five billion years old. Radioactive dating methods are mostly used for this. This 'evidence' is, however, not as strong as one would want us to believe. These matters are beyond the scope of this book; I refer the reader to the books Scientific Creationism[154] and The Illustrated Origins Answer Book.[155][156] Sounds like Hobrink has been watching some of Kent Hovind's Lies in the textbooks nonsense. And, at any rate, you are busy spending a quarter of your book on this issue - why is it suddenly 'beyond the scope of this book'? That makes no sense.

 Radiometric dating, being a form of science that does not agree with a literal interpretation of the Bible, must also be 'discredited': Three examples that show that radiometric dating is unreliable: Volcanic rock, formed in 1801 on Hawaii (about two hundred years ago) was dated using Potassium-Argon dating at between 160 million and three billion years.[157] Lava layers formed in 1980 at Mount St Helens in Washington, were dated using the same method at 0.35 and 2.8 million years, while the rock was less than ten years old.[158][159][160] The abstract of the very article cited in support for the first claim states that the 'inaccuracies' are likely due to the magmatic environment,[161] which is a known problem with the dating of igneous rock.[129] In fact, Hawaii has been used as a good example of how Potassium-Argon dating (K-Ar dating) works,[162] suggesting that it is not that inaccurate when used correctly. The problem with the second dating is that the K-Ar dating is wholly inappropriate at this time scale. Potassium-40 has a half-life of about 1.28*109 years[163] (that's 1.28 billion years, folks), which is not particularly useful when dating something with an age of less than ten years. K-Ar dating is only accurate at ages greater than about two million years, which means that only the 2.8 million year date is in the range in which K-Ar dating actually works.[129]

 When uranium decays into lead, helium is created as a by-product. There is way too little helium in the atmosphere to account for five billion years of radioactive decay. Evolutionists claim that helium is very light and escapes into space, but calculations and experiments using rockets show that more helium is received by Earth's atmosphere than could possibly escape. The sources cited for this claim are a 1957 paper in Nature,[164] which attempts to solve this problem, and a creationist book by John D. Morris.[165] As usual, Hobrink has used a rather old paper to support his claim, ignoring more recent work in the field. A 1996 article in the Journal of Geophysical Research[166] suggests that helium is ionised in the upper atmosphere (it rises, remember?), after which the He+ is 'drawn' out of the atmosphere by the Earth's magnetic field, accounting for the lack of helium in the atmosphere. Note that this paper was published nine years before Hobrink's book was published, meaning that he had plenty of time to find it. Instead, he opted to cite an almost fifty-year-old paper that was written even before the first spacecraft, Sputnik 1, was launched. That's really early in the field of "experiments using rockets". Hell, even an article from 1963 already mentions the Earth's magnetic field as an explanation for the unexpectedly low amounts of helium in the atmosphere.[167] Other creationists have taken up the idea that a lack of helium proves a young Earth as well,[168][169] but they also base their claims on outdated sources.

#### The creation and flood model

##### After the Flood
 In the Bible Modern Science
Hobrink, rather than trying his hand on white hole cosmology[170] or the anisotropic synchrony convention[171] and lagging behind his creationist brothers at Creation Ministries International[84] and Answers in Genesis[172][173] who are of the opinion that c-decay is not a viable theory,[174] decides that the speed of light has changed over time. The source cited is "the Australian reseacher Barry Setterfield".[175] One cannot help but wonder what kind of researcher Setterfield is - is he an astronomer? A physicist? An economist? A researcher in some other completely irrelevant field? Regardless of that, Setterfield appears to have studied the speed of light, and has come to the conclusion that light travelled about 1,500 km/s faster in 1675 (at some 301,000 km/s, to be exact), than the current (i.e. 1976) value of 299,792,458 m/s. One wonders how he managed to measure the speed of light in 1675 so accurately, or how the contemporary physicists managed to do so. In fact, in 1676, the Danish astronomer Ole Rømer made the first good attempt to measure the speed of light - ending up at about two thirds of the current value, not above it.[176][177] But, assuming for the moment that Setterfield's research is correct, this is big news in science! Surely, something as spectacular and revolutionary as this should have been published in leading scientific journals such as Nature or Science. However, all we get is a publication by the Creation Research Association - not exactly your peer reviewed scientific journal.
A plot of Setterfield's data. On the x-axis is time, on the y-axis the observed change in the speed of light. Note the fact that only one measurement is truly off, and that one is from 1693 - and has no error bar.

The c-decay situation has, in fact, become so embarrassing that many other creationists actively oppose it. The Institute for Creation Research has published an article[178] containing detailed criticism, with lovely quotes such as "there is no discernible decay trend in the data set presented by Norman and Setterfield."[179] Setterfield's analysis of his data turns out to be bogus; he has, for example, made an unweighted analysis of the different data points,[180] which means that a measurement with an uncertainty of, say, ten percent is just as precise as a measurement with an uncertainty of one percent.[note 15] This allows Setterfield to use a data point from 1693, which ended up some eighteen percent above the current value of c. Coincidentally, this point is responsible for much of the 'observed' decay. Moreover, a 1675 measurement by Rømer (which was below the current value) was used after a correction had been made, whereas the 1693 measurement was added without any correction.[182] This, of course, is cherry picking in its purest form. TalkOrigins has (of course) also published an article containing more pwnage of Setterfield's 'research':

 “”The reaction to the many howlers listed above from Setterfield's initial article was depressingly predictable; creationists fell over themselves praising the work, while the scientific community practically wet themselves in hysterical laughter, then proceeded to give Setterfield's research the shellacking it so royally deserved. —[183]

 A certain "Professor Troitskii", who is also "an evolutionist" has, in Hobrink's words, claimed that The speed of light was some ten billion times as high as it is now, [...] which would explain some cosmic phenomena, such as the redshift of the light [...] of distant stars and the Cosmic Microwave Background.[184] [...] If the speed of light had indeed been higher than it is now, all sorts of atomic processes must have gone significantly faster, such as the decay of radioactive substances. It follows that all radiometric dating methods point to an age that is way too high.[3] There are, of course, many problems with this. First of all, why should it be stressed that Troitskii is a "professor" and also an "evolutionist"? Biological evolution has very little to do with cosmology, apart from the fact that some creationists (most notably Kent Hovind) conflate the two. And at any rate, why would we invoke something rather radical such as the (unobserved) change over time of the speed of light to explain phenomena that are already explained? Sure, it is imaginable that some form of c-decay might explain the redshift,[note 16] but we already have the Big Bang theory and inflation to explain the CMB, as well as the expanding universe which does a very good job at explaining the observed redshift. Why then all this nonsense about c-decay? The situation becomes a lot clearer when reading through Troitskii's paper; one phrase from the 'Discussion' section particularly clarifies what he is talking about: "The considered cosmological model of the static universe meets a number of points."[186] It turns out that Troitskii is a proponent of the steady state theory, an alternative cosmology which has been debunked a long time ago.[187] Troitskii, therefore, does not represent anything like the scientific consensus. As regards the claim that higher c would cause radiative processes to speed up as well: this may be correct. However, a change of a factor ten billion (or even five hundred billion, in the case of Setterfield) would effectively turn the Earth into Chernobyl - but then much, much worse. This would solve the problem of the need to flood the entire planet to kill all of humanity, except that it would also kill Noah cum suis (wooden boats make very poor shelters from gamma rays). In fact, as Hobrink has claimed earlier on that the universe is 'fine-tuned' for life, any change in the speed of light would cause great problems. There is an intimate relationship between the speed of light c, the magnetic permeability μ0 and the electrical permittivity ε0,[188] namely: $1}{\sqrt{\mu_0\epsilon_0}$ If we were to change the speed of light, we would also need to change at least one of the other two constants. These two can be found pretty much everywhere in any field of physics where electric or magnetic forces are involved, including in Coulomb's law: $1}{4 \pi \epsilon_0} \frac{q_1q_2}{r^2$ [189] and Gauss's law: $E} = \oint \overrightarrow{E} \cdot \mathrm{d} \overrightarrow{A} = \frac{Q_{encl}}{\epsilon_{0}$ [190] This would obviously have a great impact on, for example, the strength of electrical and magnetic fields, which in turn would mean that nuclear fusion is impossible. And that would have quite some undesirable consequences - most notably, stars (including our own sun) would not exist.[191] To make things worse, the speed of light also appears in another equation, namely the definition of the fine-structure constant: $1}{4\pi\epsilon_0}\frac{e^{2}}{\hbar~c$ [192] This fine-structure constant is an important number in physics: it occurs in several equations, including the energy levels of the hydrogen atom $n,j}=-\frac{13,60 eV}{n^{2}}\left[1+\frac{\alpha^{2}}{n^{2}}\left(\frac{n}{j+\frac{1}{2}}-\frac{3}{4$ [192] It is also the square of the ratio between the elementary charge e and the Planck charge qP: $e}{q_{P}}\right)^{2$ If the fine-structure constant were to change much, physics as we know it would be fucked up. Although some have detected small changes in the value of the fine-structure constant over time, this variation was very small: $\Delta\alpha}{\alpha}=(-5.7\pm1.0)\times10^{-6$ [193][194][195]

 As if c-decay weren't enough, Hobrink goes on to claim that certain observed anomalies in the redshift of distant galaxies and quasars falsify the Big Bang: Several astronomers have produced data that show the redshift to be completely unrelated to the expansion of the universe. Some clusters that are connected to each other, have entirely different redshifts; moreover, the redshift occurs at regular intervals. This causes headaches for evolutionists, because such is impossible in the Big Bang theory.[196][197][198][199][200][3] Hobrink appears to have invented something which one might dub 'not even not even wrong'. That is, he appears to miss the point entirely (once again conflating evolution and the Big Bang), but barely manages to say something that makes sense but is still wrong (namely, that such a redshift would cause unspecified problems). Five sources cited are supported to support this claim. The first is to a book (not even a scientific paper) by Halton Arp,[196] whose research supposedly shows that galaxies that appear to be connected have completely different redshifts. Aside from possible problems with Arp's research itself, more recent investigations show no such anomalies.[201] What makes this even more interesting is that, when Arp's data were shown to be incorrect, rather than accepting that he was wrong, he decided to call conspiracy, which has made him something of a martyr for some creationists.[202] Second comes a paper by William G. Tifft,[197][203] an astronomer who observed what is known as a 'quantized redshift'. The idea behind this is that the redshift from distant galaxies follows a 'stepped' pattern, rather than a smooth line (which it should do, according to Hubble's Law). This (for some reason) causes trouble for the Big Bang theory. Although some papers have indeed been published supporting the idea of a quantized redshift,[204][205] most astronomers and cosmologists have found no redshift beyond what was to be expected from the clustering of galaxies.[201][206][207][208][209] The other three sources are not from scientific journals: an article by Dutch astronomer Govert Schilling in Intermediair magazine,[198] as well as two creationist sources: God and Cosmos,[199] published by The Banner of Truth Trust and an article from Amersfoortse Studies,[200] a Dutch creationist magazine. Moreover, in the previous chapter Hobrink explicitly invoked the current scientific consensus that the universe did have a beginning as an argument that God must exist.[210] Here, however, he argues against a Big Bang, though using particularly bad arguments. The two 'authorities' he invokes to support c-decay, Barry Setterfield and Victor Troitskii, both have other motives to do so: they argue for a (more or less) static universe, rather than the Big Bang.[211][186] If one thing can be said about the current Big Bang theory, particularly the Lambda-cold dark matter (ΛCDM) model, it is that the most recent data available (from the 2013 Planck mission)[212] have shown that "The 6-parameter base-ΛCDM model provides a good fit to the Planck TT, TE, and EE power spectra and to the Planck CMB lensing measurements [in other words, observational data], either individually or in combination with each other.",[213] that "Standard big-bang nucleosynthesis predictions for the helium and deuterium abundances for the base-ΛCDM cosmology are in excellent agreement with observations"[214] and that "What we have learned, and the legacy from Planck, is that any signatures of new physics in the CMB must be small"[213] In other words, the currently available data regarding the early history of the universe and the values of certain cosmological parameters are in agreement with the ΛCDM model, which is rightly known as the 'standard model' of cosmology and yields an age of 13.796 ± 0.020 billion years,[215] not six thousand.

##### Conclusion
 In the Bible Modern science
 In the conclusion to his book, Hobrink cites the "evolutionist" Michael Denton, who claims that: "Neither of the two fundamental axioms of Darwin's macroevolutionary theory [...] have been validated by one single empirical discovery or scientific advance since 1859."[216] [...] "It has always been the anti-evolutionists, not the evolutionists, in the scientific community who have stuck rigidly to the facts and adhered to a more strictly empirical approach."[217] Denton is neither an evolutionist[note 17] nor anywhere near representative of the scientific consensus. In reality, he is most likely a proponent of some form of intelligent design, while his books have been thoroughly debunked by actual scientists.[218] And, at any rate, doesn't it seem odd that an evolutionist would write a book of which the very title describes evolution as a "theory in crisis" and which is filled with quotes such as the ones on the left? In 1998, Denton retracted the above statement, and accepted the common descent of life.[219] To quote the creationist Todd Wood: "Creationist students, listen to me very carefully: There is evidence for evolution, and evolution is an extremely successful scientific theory. [...] It is my own faith choice to reject evolution, because I believe the Bible reveals true information about the history of the earth that is fundamentally incompatible with evolution. I am motivated to understand God’s creation from what I believe to be a biblical, creationist perspective. Evolution itself is not flawed or without evidence. Please don’t be duped into thinking that somehow evolution itself is a failure."[220]

 My personal opinion: If the Christian faith were based on just as little fact as the theory of evolution, I'd certainly become an atheist.[221] For the umpteenth time, we are presented with a magnificent logical failure: Failed to parse (PNG conversion failed; check for correct installation of latex and dvipng (or dvips + gs + convert)): x \notin C \not\equiv x \in A [note 18] The existence of, say, Muslims, Bahai, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Shinto, Slavic pagans, Wicca should make clear what exactly the problem with Hobrink's reasoning is.

## Hobrink's sources

Having followed a scientific education, Hobrink appears to have realized that he must support his statements with references.[note 19] He has therefore filled the back of his book with 31 pages of sources, Bible references and 'specially recommended' books, magazines and websites. Many of these, however, are not recognized by the scientific community as reliable sources. A breakdown of the different sections and references follows below.

### 'Specially recommended'

#### Books

Hobrink has filled three pages with a list of books, magazines and websites he considers especially relevant or interesting, and which he wishes to recommend to his readers. They include, but are not limited to:

Chapters 2 and 3
• None of these diseases, by S. I. McMillen.[9]
This is the infamous book Hobrink has plagiarized without any reference, until Tjerk Muller caught him on this (see below).
Chapter 5
Morris is often regarded as the founder of creationism, but modern creationists aren't terribly fond of using him. For reasons. Hobrink claims the book is "about physics and creation/evolution",[223] but Morris was not a physicist, but trained in engineering. And yeah, engineer.
Chapter 6
Behe's work revolves around his claims about irreducible complexity, which has been debunked many times, including during the Dover Trial. Nevertheless, Hobrink often refers to Behe in claiming life is too complex too have evolved.
• Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, by Michael Denton.[225]
According to Hobrink, this book is about "the impossibility of evolution", notwithstanding the fact that Denton's work has been debunked by the scientific community. He also likes to call him an "evolutionist", which seems at odds with the above claim and with the quotes by Denton which Hobrink uses: usually they amount to "Neither of the two fundamental axioms of Darwin's macroevolutionary theory [...] have been validated by one single empirical discovery or scientific advance since 1859."[216]
• The Biblical Basis for Modern Science, by Henry M. Morris.[226]
One of Morris's less known books. Despite his claims to the contrary, science is not based on some sort of 3000-year-old book.
See above.

#### Magazines

Rather than some evil liberal anti-Christian proper scientific journals such as Nature, Hobrink brings you peer-reviewed masterpieces things that make the Daily Mail look like quality press such as:

• Acts & Facts from the Institute for Creation Research
• Creation Research Society Quarterly from the Creation Research Society
• Creation ex Nihilo from the Creation Science Foundation, a United Kingdom-based Young Earth Creationist group. This was its name between 1986 and 2001; by the time Hobrink's book was written (2005), it had changed to simply Creation.
• Origins by the Biblical Creation Society, another UK Creationist group.
• Wort und Wissen - apparently Germany is infested with creationists, too. Could it have something to do with that guy that claimed that Copernicus was wrong, "denn also stehet geschrieben durch den Propheten"?[227]

Anyone missing a particular journal?

#### Websites

• Access Research Network, the badly formatted website of an American group of cdesign proponentsists;
• Answers in Genesis - although their 'journal' was not listed, Hobrink apparently felt the urge to include Answers in Genesis's website in this list;
• Biblical Creation Society, publishers of the magazine mentioned above;
• CreaBel, a Belgian YEC group;
• www.creationsciencemovement.com, a link that does not work but is supposed to link to the website of the Creation Science Movement;
• Creaton, a Dutch group of YECs that neither knows how to spell 'creation' nor appeared to be very interested in their website (for some years consisting of the text "This is going to be Creaton's new website" with their logo below it; it seemed like a reasonable display of all of the compelling evidence for Young Earth Creationism);
• Creation Research Trust, a British group of Young Earth Creationists whose website looks even worse than that of Access Research Network (though, we'll have to admit, not quite as bad as that of ZetaTalk);
• Degeneratie, based on the book by Hobrink's buddy Peter M. Scheele.[110] The site claims that '15,000 copies have been sold', of which 5,000 sold on the day of publication, implying that it has sold about 1.5 copies a day for the next 18 years. Scheele's main claim revolves around de-evolution, or the loss of genetic complexity in organisms, which supposedly contradicts evolution. Hilariously, this is a textbook exercise in evolution for Dutch high school students.[228] But as we know, creationists are no strangers to misunderstanding basic science.
• Institute for Creation Research, run by the organization of the same name.

### Hobrink's references

In total, Hobrink uses 450 references. As one might expect, however, many of these are written by creationists. In an interview, he stated that:

Some eight times, I have given lectures in America. The last five times, I have combined this with some days off, on which I visited libraries which I had selected before. The Moody Bible Institute, Wheaton College, Southern Baptist University, the Institute for Creation Research and more of those institutions. All day long, all I did was quickly read hundreds of books and copy interesting sections. With five or six hundred copies I came back home, where I had all the time I wished to read them.[229]

Of course, instead of actually reading some proper scientific literature (or even popular science books, such as A Brief History of Time or Climbing Mount Improbable), all Hobrink apparently read were creationist books.

Chapters 1-4 are pretty reasonable, citing no more than 25 creationist sources.[note 21] However, as soon as we enter Chapter 5, the creationist-counter starts producing significantly more dings - the first page of references for Chapter 5 has 10 creationist references, on a total of 18. The whole of Chapter 5 cites 22 sources that are identifiable as written by creationists by merely looking at their name. Chapter 6 breaks all records: 70 out of 100 references are to other creationists. Most cited are Michael Behe, Michael Denton, Henry M. Morris, William Dembski (whom Hobrink calls 'Demski')[230] and Andrew Snelling. Many others are from popular science magazines, or from completely non-scientific ones (mostly Reader's Digest). Of the grand total of six references to actual scientific journals, the most recent one is an article in Nature from 1995 concerning the Earth's magnetic field.[231]

## Reception

### Acclaim

A quick Google search for 'Ben Hobrink' returns dozens upon dozens of pages, most of them from Christian websites, and mostly filled with praise for Hobrink. They include interviews[229][232] and totally unbiased book reviews.[233] A letter to the editor, published in Christian newspaper Nederlands Dagblad (ND) also references Hobrink's book as an example of a book that can be used to explain to children "what is wrong with evolution".[234] Dutch creationist "science magazine" Weet.[note 22] also published an article praising Hobrink's explanation of the eighth-day circumcision.[235] Ellips, a creationist magazine, also reviewed the book, and - unsurprisingly - concluded it was great.[236][note 23]

### Accusations of plagiarism

 “”Not only do the weak of mind like to cite this book as a standard work of science, and are many miserably deceived by the rhetoric and nonsense which Hobrink displays in this book - apparently, he can even get away with it! —Taede A. Smedes, theologian[237]

On his blog, theologian (and anti-creationist) Dr. Taede A. Smedes has accused Hobrink of committing plagiarism, which was first discovered by theology student Tjerk Muller.[237] It appears that Hobrink has almost literally copied long passages on Ignaz Semmelweis from S. I. McMillen's None of these Diseases with no attribution but an appearance on the list of 'Specially recommended books'.[223] On 17 August 2007, this story made it to the press: ND published two articles on Hobrink's alleged plagiarism.[238][239] Even now, when searching "Ben Hobrink" on Google (Google.nl, that is), the second and third 'suggestions' are "Ben Hobrink plagiarism" and "Ben Hobrink plagiarizes".

Hobrink later stated that he was grateful to Smedes for pointing out this 'error' and claimed to have amended it.[105] In the 2009 edition, this 'amending' consists of a single reference to McMillen and the note at the bottom of the page that "I have taken the story about Semmelweis, liberally translated, from S. I. McMillen."[240] The way Hobrink phrases it does not suggest that more than two pages of his book have been almost literally copied from McMillen. Smedes has, of course, also noticed this, and posted it on his blog once again.[241] Given the fact that the edition used in writing this page was published nearly a year after Smedes's post, one may safely assume that Hobrink has not changed anything this time. In a 2015 interview, Hobrink referred to the plagiarism case, claiming that Smedes (whose name was not mentioned) hardly used any factual arguments and suggesting that all the fuss about this plagiarism may have boosted the sales.[232]

### Other criticism

 “”Taede Smedes calls it 'disturbing' that Christians (particularly the orthodox ones) are so fond of Hobrink's book. It is indeed disturbing, since a little critical thinking and some insight into the state of affairs will pop Hobrink's book as a chain of argumentative balloons, filled with little more than air. But apparently, the wish to have tangible evidence that the Bible has a supernatural Origin, is stronger than reason. —Tjerk Muller, theologian[14]

The aforementioned Taede Smedes has published more articles on his blog criticizing Hobrink, including an essay by Tjerk Muller (the same person that first pointed out Hobrink's plagiarism) in which he exposes Hobrink's use of quote mines and cherry picking. Examples include:

• Hobrink's claim that the Bible prohibits the consumption of fat: in Leviticus 7:23, God forbids the Israelites to eat the fat of any land animal. There are, however, many passages in the Bible in which God appears to support the sacrificing of fat — something which, if fat is bad, seems rather odd.[242]
• According to Hobrink, the Bible shows advanced scientific knowledge when it states (in Numbers 19:11) that "He that toucheth the dead body of any man shall be unclean seven days." To become clean again, said person must wash themselves multiple times. Meanwhile, the Bible says nothing about all those other circumstances in which one should also wash one's hands (and other body parts) very thoroughly.[14]

Atheist blog De Atheïst has published a long and well-referenced article[243] containing detailed criticism of Hobrink's book, taking down points such as the apparent rules for 'biblical hygiene', circumcision, and the water cycle, as well as pointing out Hobrink's cherry picking.

Christian blog Goedgelovig has criticised Hobrink and other Dutch creationists, such as David Sörensen,[244] Tjarko Evenboer and Peter Scheele, calling Hobrink a 'plagiarist'.[245] Cees Dekker, a Christian and the Netherlands' most cited physicist,[246] and also a former intelligent design proponent[247][248] who is now actively fighting creationists,[249] stated on Twitter that he thought "Ben Hobrink is a nice guy but his popular book 'Modern Science in the Bible' is really not that good".[250] Dr. René Fransen, an evangelical Christian, journalist and former biologist, has pointed out that Hobrink's reasoning can be refuted with a single example of Biblical unscientific foreknowledge, of which he gives several.[251]