Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Dr Joel Edmund Anderson - a Fraud or a Dupe?

Creation vs. Evolution: Is It Christianity at All? · New blog on the kid: "Inspiring Philosophy" pretends to trace YEC to Ellen White ·Assorted retorts from yahoo boards and elsewhere: Dr Joel Edmund Anderson - a Fraud or a Dupe? · Magisterium and Polygenism · An Unexpected Turn

Old Testament Scholar Flattens Ken Ham's Foundation (feat. Dr Joel Anderson)
Paulogia, 1st of March 2022

This is more interesting than Kent Hovind's "bows to Mecca" (no alcohol, four wives) ...

1:51 I saw he had written a book on the same topic as this title.

I was really interested in his bringing up Arius and St. Jerome's remark "all the world woke up and groaned astonished at being Arian" ....

Sorry, but I do not think Ken Ham "bowed to Mecca" in the sense of denying Our Lord's divinity, and as a comparison it is ridiculous.

It's like calling Greek Orthodox Arians for having bishops (which the Arians also had, remember, they weren't Protestants).

3:00 "a very childish approach"

I'm somewhat reminded of modernist Orthodox (Commie loyal) and their views on Evangelicals ...

As a Catholic, convert from Evangelicalism and Lutheranism, revert from Orthodoxy, to Catholicism, I am definitely not an Evangelical, however, whatever approach I might consider "childish" in ineptness, I would never lambast as childish, because I know that kind of ad hominem sits as ill with them as with me.

5:21 Except of course the Commies didn't quite execute people like the now Patriarch Kirill - a former KGB agent, who certainly was no time famous for supporting YEC so far, and actually a decade ago considered Evangelicals were looking for "Christian Shariah" when they wanted to ban abortion.

Since the Orthodox consider Constantine the Great a saint, not just his mother St. Helen, but lots of icons go "Sts Constantine and Helen" ... and since Constantine banned abortion, as well as putting out children to die, I think Kirill is not the greatest light of Sts Alexanders and Athanasius' opposition to Arius.

6:05 "they were still kind of pagan, they didn't go to Church that much"

Where did that one come from?

I think Sundays and feast days were pretty well observed. Including by people who outside Church or inside someone else's Church were still even so able to commit atrocities (which is what I think was the point of the picture).

There is a reason why Luther succeeded and Aretino didn't. Luther at least paid lip service to the Bible ... not totally sincere, given his Sendbrief vom Dolmetschen, but not totally insincere either.

8:41 "she was literally just like an oven"

I think this was not the opinion of all the philosophers. I am not sure whether Platonic or Aristotelic ones would have been likelier to agree, but I think Aristotle disagreed, since Aristotle was more of an influence on Arabic science, and from Arabic science, we have that pregnancies start when male and female semen meet inside the womb - which is approximately true, the approximation being that there is a difference between cells and the liquids they propulse inside which they didn't know of.

8:59 When does that life begin to be considered a person?

IF one pretends that the Church was misled by false science to a false conclusion, and we know this conclusion was shared by all the Church, one cannot actually consider oneself a Christian.

Btw, recalling some more lore on Late Antique and Medieval science, many actually did NOT consider that a newly conceived baby was a person, they considered the ensouling with a rational soul occurred at the quickening. This led to some considering early abortions less sinful than abortions after that time, but it was still both mortally sinful and a crime in civil law.

So, the false science was rather on the other side.

9:33 "the early Christians weren't trying to get the Emperor to outlaw abortion"

Well, they did precisely that as soon as they had an Emperor who wasn't persecuting them, i e one who would listen to them.

Russia forbade abortion under the Czars, and Lenin overthrew this. The law actually goes back to Constantine the Great.

I wonder, with some trembling, if Joel Edmund is as inept on OT as he is on Late Antiquity (as a Latinist partly Grecist, that's kind of "my field" ...)

9:59 "that's not a way to do it, and it creates a lot of problems"

Said after defending Kirill's policy of not approaching the "social issue" of abortion by criminal justice.

It can be mentioned, Russia was in 2000 the greatest aborting nation "of Europe" (not sure how they compare to China and India, that's another question). In 2018 I think it was, Russia was still one of the five greatest aborting nations. More than twice as bad as US prior to Dobbs. Why? Because Kirill was not willing to approach the "social issue" in a way he thought "insensitive" ...

ONE result is, in 2018 old age pensions had to be adjusted, people were going to get it later. And it raised 4 months of troubles, with Navalny blaming corruption - unfortunately not that of Kirill and other "sensitive approachers" and ensuing problems with repopulation, with population upkeep - for the bad financing of pensions.

It was a boon to Putin (Kirill's spiritual son, also a former KGB) that early 2020 featured Covid 19. The war in Ukraine is equally a boon to him.

He can deflect from not having done the proper thing for pensions (which would have been to ban abortions as soon as he came into power), first by his men going "we'll get a vaccine, we'll even call it Sputnik!" (Sputnik V has every dose made from viruses cultivated on fetal cells from an abortion), and now by "we must save the Russians in DonBas, we must de-Satanise Ukraine!"

10:34 First of all, Evolution is not scientific. I may be a Latinist myself, but ma and dad were med school, a stepdad and halfsister in pharmaceutics.

I'm not totally dumb in science. Before you say "Yersinia causes plague" you check patients with plague for plague symptoms and for presence of Yersinia pestis. Before you say "this penicilline cures plague" (or whatever the proper antibiotic is) you check it kills Yersinia and you check it doesn't kill the patient, and that both facts apply to same doses. That kind of check cannot be applied to a statement like "man having 111 + cell types and coming from single-celled organisms must have evolved cell types at a rate of roughly 1 every 3 million years" - it's a totally different type of statement.

But while not all Evolution believers are Atheists, nearly all Atheists are Evolution believers, in fact, if we analyse Atheism as a religion, which I do, we would consider its main credal statement isn't the absence of God, but the presence of "purely naturalistic factors" leading to universe as we know it and life as we know it and man as we know ourselves. And being able to do the job without God. This makes Christian Evolution believers a kind of Syncretists. Ken Miller (supposedly Catholic) actually pretended God just set the process into motion ... not even allowing Design arguments for a creator to be scientific.

10:50 "It's looking at how things work."

How things worK? Or how things workeD?

Ken Ham doesn't deny Darwin's finches, which are pretty close to real time observation. In fact, a real time observation involving a new hybrid proves that two of the finch species weren't speciated in relation to each other. They could reproduce.

Stating that man who can talk evolved from apes which can't talk is not "how things work" - we don't see men evolving language without language input (see feral children), and we don't see creatures other than men developing language like we supposedly did "while" a little more apelike than now. So, it is definitely not an observation of how things actually work. It's a guess of how they worked exactly just once against all odds.

10:55 "Atheism is a philosophical world view"

The Atheism we talk of here is a philosophy which involves Evolution ("long term" meaning) and millions of years in order to have a complete or near complete explanation.

Please note here methodological atheism. Some scientists and science adherents will state "we don't deny or affirm God - we just explain in natural terms" - well, if the explanation in natural terms is contrary to the real explanation being in God terms (and no, there are issues where you cannot have secondary causes for a certain thing under the primary one, since the number of secondary causes is limited, otherwise there wouldn't be a reason to arrive at a primary one) that's an explanation flirting with atheism and reached by this lab prejudice which could be called methodological atheism. Since Carnegie started funding science and education, Atheism in practise has been running the ropes in many scientific institutions. Start out with "methodological atheism" and end up with conclusions that are at least compatible with Philosophical World View Atheism.

Creationism and Geocentrism are challenging the process.

But it's noteworthy, it's already ten minutes in, and soon 11 minutes in, and the OT scholar has said plenty of modern concerns, and not a single word about his supposed expertise, being OT texts.

11:07 "Most people who accept evolution are Christians"

Most Christians these days are losing a culture war, by not banning abortion, by not making sufficient numbers of children to get old age pensions (US is in less trouble than France, though).

In 1900, most people who accepted Evolution were mainstream Protestants, which back then was even less supernatural than now, more like a polite alternative to Atheism - like Luther was a viable alternative to Aretino.

11:38 "You put this here, and you put this here and this is how it goes together."

So far there is no evolutionary scenario available - do scholar googles if you like - for evolving ten genes necessary for making a retina from creatures which cannot see. You do have another scenario in which certain Cichlids cannot see in caves in Mexico because two of the genes have perhaps one mutation each.

There is a reason why blind cichlids have become a less popular argument for evolution than they were when I first time arrived on Quora.

In other words, there is no evolutionary process at all for what Evolution is mainly promoting and Ken Ham mainly attacking. It's not even "oh, the instructions are in Chinese" - no, the instructions aren't even there in the first place.

12:58 I note that Joel Edmund is conspicuously not stating whether he thinks Genesis 3 a literally true event.

In the Catholic Church, you "technically" have to believe it.

Trent, Session V, canons 1, 2 and 3 about Original sin, all tie original sin to a literal and individual Adam.

This means, when I spot "Catholic priests" who state that Adam and Eve were not literally people like you and I, but more like a representation of lots more of people, I call that pseudo-Catholic out as a heretic.

Now, Joel Edmund has made a short cut. He claims that Ken Ham is tying original sin to literal reading of Genesis 1. What I would do is actually doing is more like:

  • original sin started with Genesis 3, which is a literal event
  • with millions of years, there is no precise room where Genesis 3 would fit
  • so Genesis 1 is also literally true.

OR what Ken Ham would do is this:

  • original sin started with Genesis 3, which is a literal event
  • but there was no death before that (as per Romans 5)
  • and all supposed traces of millions of years are traces of death
  • so Genesis 6 to 9 is literally true and how we got those fossils
  • so Genesis 1 is also literally true.

15:45 "It's an example of ancient near eastern mythological literature"

First, Norse myth has far more parallels to ANE myths than Genesis chapters 1 to 11 do. Plurality of gods, earth created from a killed monster,


How exactly does this tie in with "non-historic"?

We can agree that in a normal sense, Genesis 1 prior to verse 26 and Enuma Elish with the generations of gods are not historic. All of these are very obviously about what happened before there were men.

But after that ... why would Genesis 6 to 9 and tablet XI of Gilgamesh not both be purported history? Note, one of them has to be in that case fake history. The Ark captain cannot both have died at 950 years and have been immortal. He cannot have both the dignity of eternally living far off in Dilmud and the indignity of Cham looking and showing all the men who were present in the location after probably Canaan had served him deliberately too much of his wine. One of the accounts at least must be at odds with the historic facts. But this doesn't make it a non-historic genre.

Some have equated Nimrod with Gilgamesh. Without denying the equation Nimrod and Enmerker, I think there is something to it. And we cannot have this clear "gebor" both be such because born of a goddess and because he somehow began to be one after getting born as greatgrandson to Noah. But this doesn't mean Gilgamesh doesn't involve real feats of Nimrod.

Oh, archaeology? Haven't forgotten. Genesis 10:8 - 12 would refer to the Neolithic. North Syria and North Iraq with East Turkey.

15:58 It's "mythological in its genre" ... is there anything like a non-historic "mythological genre"?

Prove the "mythological genre" is non-historic before you presume on the genre to prove Genesis 1 to 11 non-historic!

16:37 Before you can say that Genesis 1 - 11 being non-historic is an issue of good exegesis, you need to prove that "mythological genre" exists and as such is non-historic.

And while "science" had nothing to do with your own view of Genesis 1 - 11, the modern world view, more centred on science than on literature (with effects like atheists asking how many independent medical testimonies I have to Christ curing lepers!) that led Joel to assume (without proof) there is an essentially non-historic genre which is called "mythology" ...

I considered Greek myth as fantasy back in my teens.

Since I read Greek tragedy, I don't. Much of it is a documentary on how demons who were worshipped as gods played around with heathens who had no access to God's law and truth, except a conscience they were searing by social conformity and idolatry.

Theseus would have felt like "cool, I have a superman as dad" ... and that fake dad ended up killing his real son, Hippolytus. That's why the Church preserved Greek tragedy. It's the black-book of Apollon. Whom St. John mentions in Apocalypse 9:11 (yes, pagans called Apollon Apollyon too, Homer did so in Iliad I). I am happy the human mind is not twisted enough to come up with this monstrosity while writing "heroic fantasy" ... but demons are twisted enough to do it, and the Greeks didn't get the protections Hebrews got from God.

The gerbil wheel is Joel's ... he's proving from mythology he never took a close look at that Genesis 1 to 11 is non-historic, and so avoids a real confrontation with the scientific ultgraweakness of Evolution.

17:33 If Christ is the foundation of the Christian FAITH, and Christ read Genesis 1 to 11 historically, then the Christian FAITH actually needs to do so too.

Now, he's saying (and I agree) that while the fullness of truth came only with Christ, the theological ground work, the foundation, was laid in Genesis 1 to 11.

This is not the kind of "not trusting Christ" that Joel Edmund is actually and spuriously accusing him of.

In a purely paedagogic way, "the bad news" is foundation for "the good news" ... Genesis 3 is in fact a propaedeuticum to John 18-21.

17:49 "you're creating that ideology, and that's theological idolatry in my book"

Ham's less creating that ideology, than Kirill creates yours, and it is less idolatrous.

Is Ham heretical? Yes, he's Protestant. What is heretical about Ham was heretical about B. B. Warfield.

But on some issues, Ham is back closer to the Catholic home. He's not a Calvinist and not an Arminian, he's both - and that's closer to Aquinas and Molina than to either Calvin or Arminius. And he is not partaking of the modern Atheism that came forth from Protestantism, the one called Evolution.

19:16 As a Latinist, part time Grecist, who has looked at Migne, I am peaking my ears when Joel Edmund says "Church history" ...

19:37 "At no point did the Church ever say 'Young Earth Creationism is a foundational tenet of Christianity' "

Would they have used that language?

Trent Session V certainly made a literal reading of Genesis 3 foundational for our understanding of sin and death.

Since before the Reformation, since the time when the martyrology used in Rome was called Usuardus and not Roman Martyrology by today's scholars (though Usuardus arguably would have called his martyrology the Roman one), it includes for December 25 a statement on Christ's birth, I'll give text in my English translation from Usuardus:

"Year from Creation of the World, when in the beginning God created Heaven and Earth, five thousand, one hundred and ninety-nine, which number of years was completed in the following year of March, in the 20th day of same month, for in that day the world was created. But from the Deluge, the two thousand nine hundred fifty seventh year, which number was completed seventeenth day of following April. From birth of Abraham, the two thousand fifteenth year. From Moses & the Exodus of the people of Israel from Egypt, the thousand five hundred tenth year. From the ruin of Troy, the thousand hundred seventy-ninth year. From the anointing of David unto king, the thousand thirty-second year. In the hundred ninenty third Olimpiad, and in the eight hundredth year from the first Olimpiad. From the founding of the city of Rome, the seven hundredth fifty second year. The sixty-third week, accorting to the prophecy of Daniel, that is the four hundred fortieth year or thereabout. Year of the rule of Octavian, the forty-second. Sixth age of the world, gates closed, all world composed in peace, Christ Jesus eternal God, and Son of the eternal Father, wanting by his most tender advent consecrate the world, conceived by the Holy Ghost and nine months gone through after conception (here it is said in high voice) is born in Bethlehem of Judah from the Virgin Mary, made man; (here higher voice and in passion tone:) Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh."

The Latin original provided by my scholar friend back in Sweden, Stephan Borgehammar.*

Is it foundational to Christianity that the Word of God was born in the flesh? Obviously yes.

The Catholic Church has said this very foundational thing happened 5199 after Creation, 2957 after the Flood, 2015 after the birth of Abraham. She proclaims that in Her liturgy.

20:33 "but other parts aren't meant to be historical, and that's where you have to become Biblically competent!"

Ironically, a PhD in Old Testament needn't be that, apparently.

He has no idea on whether the comparison to ANE myths or the testimony of the Church fathers is the better approach, and doesn't seem to realise they are at variance.

Unless of course you admit that:
  • Enuma Elish is fake prophecy, like Genesis 1 is true prophecy
  • Genesis 3 is true history, like Gilgamesh XI or later when a snake eats the herb is false history.

That's a valid comparison. Enuma Elish and Genesis 1 are fake and true examples of prophecy, since they deal with things happening before human observers; and Gilgamesh XI and later chapters of Genesis (6 - 9) are fake and real examples of history, as both deal with things with at least purported human observers.

But "Enuma Elish and Gilgamesh are both myth, therefore neither is remotely meant as historic, therefore Genesis 1 to 11 isn't historic either" - that's a very shallow comparison, very dependent on a very specific culture I and Joel were born in, and which Joel hasn't taken the same distance from, and it is clearly NOT what the Church Fathers taught.

But obviously, to Kirill and Joel, the Church Fathers are just names you can tag onto the ideology of Delitzsch.

21:04 "Enlightenment world view lense"

I'm peaking my ears again ...

21:17 "the first thing he does is ask scientific questions"

OK, tracing the Enlightenment back to St. Augustine of Hippo, are we?

In book I of De Genesi ad Literam Libri XII he deals with how there could be days before the Sun.

His answer is, the light (once God divided it from darkness) was limited to a halfglobe around one side of the globe earth. And started to circle earth, like the sun now circles earth. AND the creation days are even at this point counted from the Time Zone of Jerusalem, which is roughly speaking where God created Adam.

I think you'll be somewhat challenged to put either Newton or Sarpi or Voltaire or Locke before St. Ambrose of Milan's pupil, whichever of these people you prefer to trace Enlightenment to.

But wait ... "the first thing to do is to try to understand it from their point of view, try to understand the original context"

Do the Church Fathers or clergy today most excel in putting Jesus into the context of the Jewish education system? I saw the sermon of a Novus Ordo priest (one of the more pious ones, not an outright scoffer), who told me things about Beth Sepher, Beth Talmud and then studying under a rabbi, which years of Sts Augustine and Thomas Aquinas hadn't even started to tell me about.

I still think Our Lord was homeschooled rather than going to Beth Sepher - and that's part of why He astonished in the Temple - and I know the Beth Sepher didn't become obligatory prior to Joshua Ben Gamla who succeeded Hanan Ben Hanan, who martyred St. James. But this kind of minutiae of the Jewish context of Jesus is not exactly what Church Fathers or Scholastics excelled in - except in the contexts where it becomes relevant for doctrine or for piety.

The concern to understand a text from the viewpoint of the earliest hearers or readers is dated to Lorenzo Valla coming up with "wait, are we reading 1st C texts of Roman authors right?" - and Lorenzo Valla was obviously not the greatgrandfather of St. Ambrose. c. 1407 – 1 August 1457 is posterior, not prior to 339 – c. 397.

And some of the first guys to apply Lorenzo's lesson to the Bible were either Protestant Reformers or close to them.

21:38 "I can guarantee you, they weren't thinking 'wow, this refutes Darwinism!' "

That is not the question.

It's like saying St. John's first adressees reading Apocalypse 13 weren't thinking "wow, VLADIMIRB is so fitting for Putin, he's Vladimir II both of Muscovy and of his known paternal family!"

But Putin is the second Vladimir of the known Putin family (which begins with his grandfather, who was not a Vladimir), and any country ruled by Moscow has had only two Vladimir rulers, Lenin and Putin. And ASCII for VLADIMIRB does add up to 666.

Or like saying King David's choir weren't thinking "wow, this condemns abortion and Roe v Wade!" - And yet, "wonderfully and fearfully made" actually does that.

Some applications, like refuting errors or pinpointing fulfilments of prophecies of the future (from when the text was written) in fact only come up after the first audience is long dead. Precisely as social and moral applications. Abortion or slavery.

So, a Bible text may certainly apply in ways which the original hearers were in no position to know about. For the hagiographer himself, we would find it more pious that he did understand more than he could convey to the immediate audience. Like Jacob actually foreseeing Christ. Genesis 49:9,10.

21:46 "whoa, there is one God?!"

Seriously, they had seen Him in action when crossing the Red Sea with no wet shoes. They weren't polytheists. Some may have hankered back to it.

22:16 Indeed. That's one excellent repudiation against anyone stating Genesis 1 to 11 is a rip-off of ANE mythology.

However, in order to make it a "rip-off with an unexpected twist" - like you are trying to do - how come the closer parallel is to Mesopotamia and not Egypt?

Plus, did the Israelites all of them absolutely need to hear Genesis 1 to believe man had dignity? Sometimes people travelling in caravans have an exaggerated sense of dignity, and that's what their ancestry 215 years earlier was. Would they have all of them forgotten it in Goshen?

It is a big mistake to paint either Moses' followers or Abraham as "pagan as the Areopagus" and then either Moses or God as Paul in Acts 17.

With Moses, we do find some Paul writing to Corinthians ... who were already Christian.

23:06 "he wants the Corinthians to lead a godly life"

In context, he is actually warning them against false Apostles.

[2 Corinthians 11:3-4]
3 But I fear lest, as the serpent seduced Eve by his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted, and fall from the simplicity that is in Christ 4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Christ, whom we have not preached; or if you receive another Spirit, whom you have not received; or another gospel which you have not received; you might well bear with him.

In other words, it is in immediate context about doctrine, not about lifestyle.

23:21 You are misrepresenting Ken Ham's train of thought.

No, it's not because it has Eve that is has to be about the scientific reading of Genesis.

It's because Genesis is the word of God, up to recently taken as historical including in chapters 1 to 11 (or 2 to 11, if you prefer calling chapter 1 prophetic), that not doing so any more is like Eve not any more taking Genesis 2:17 as a real and earnest ban on eating from a certain tree. He is very far from taking this as the only parallel. He misrepresents the 16th C. by pretending indulgences were alien to the Gospel (read Tobit for indulgenced hospitality and II Maccabees for indulgenced prayers for the dead) and so casts Luther for St. Paul.

He is doing himself a real disservice by making himself the equivalent of that buffoon from a stingy miner family who made vows he was not fit to keep and finalised them so he couldn't get out of them while staying a Catholic either. But at least the preaching on the "Genesis 3 attacks" serves as a reminder that no, he is not concerned with creation science because Genesis 3 is in the passus Genesis 1 to 11. He believes Evolution is just one among many heresies, and the main one today.

And I agree.

He focusses on Evolution like St. Dominic of Guzman focussed on converting Albigensians, because Albigensians were a major heresy then.

That he hasn't the credentials of St. Dominic for giving absolution is another question, neither have I, but even so.

23:50 Our Lord Jesus Christ, St. Paul, St. Peter not only themselves affirmed the historicity of Adam and Eve and of Noah, BUT were starting (as Lord and as main Apostles of Him) a Church which continued to do this up to after 1920.

If you are into "Adam and Eve are mythological, therefore literary, therefore fictional" you are out - even the Dictionnaire de la Théologique Catholique had Teilhard de Chardin stating that Adam and Eve had to be historic, even if not the usual style ... even Teilhard de Chardin, the poster child of Theistic Evolution, was not allowed to put the historicity of Adam and Eve in actual direct doubt.

But you read the Bible with Kirill instead of the Church Fathers.

24:05 "you can not derive he's affirming the historicity of Eve from that verse"

You most definitely can if you put it in the historic context of the first century.

I think I'll skip
the final 15 minutes for now.

Pretending St. Paul did not affirm the historicity of Eve, or Our Lord of Adam and Eve, Noah and the Flood, or St. Peter of Noah and the Flood, is like saying St. Irenaeus believed in ASCII code for Apoc. 13.

I think St. John had seen computers and ASCII, but I do not believe all that's to be finally revealed only when prophecy is fulfilled was culturally present to the early Church. Greek gematria was a standin, they could express the code needed to have numeric values for all letters, not just some of them (exeunt Roman Numerals), and to have a known spelling (exit Hebrew gematria).

But while ASCII is a 20th C. invention, which is useful, I'm using it right now, "Genesis 1 to 11 is mythology and therefore not history" is a 20th C. (19th to 21st C.) ideology, and useless. It was not only not present to 1st C. audiences, it should not be there in us either.

* Background to Christmas Martyrology · What Martyrology, by the way?