Misusing the Bible to deny global warming

That cesspool of Young-Earth Creationism, Answers in Genesis, has weighed in on the issue of global warming, coming down firmly on the side of denialism. I’m not surprized, since I always knew Creationism to be a form of evolution denialism. Denialists tend to flock together and be denialists about more than one subject, and this proves it:

http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/arj/v3/n1/bible-science-perspective-on-global-warming

Let us focus on the statements that make this piece so unscientific, if not downright rediculous. Those statements will be in red and my responses will be in black.

Oddly, the church has had little to say on the issue and has made scant use of Scripture to evaluate the alleged problem.

Of course not! When the books of the Bible were being written, climate science didn’t even exist!

It will be shown that the Bible provides sufficient counsel to enable Christians to evaluate the claims of global warming and arrive at a confident position that is in accord with real science.

That’s a tall order, since there is no real science in the Bible.

The contention that man’s activities are causing global warming, as described in the media and by its advocates, is a myth. There is no reason either biblically or scientifically to fear the exaggerated and misguided claims of catastrophe as a result of increasing levels of man-made carbon dioxide (CO2).

They use “science” only when it suits them. That’s as bad and dishonest as denying it completely.

Al Gore contends that the greatest moral issue of our times is global warming. In addition, he and others characterize global warming, which he considers to be predominately caused by man, as a moral, ethical and spiritual challenge.

Making Al Gore the primary issue instead of the actual data is itself a serious weakness.

If he is right, then Christians should examine this issue and take a strong biblical position. Moral, ethical and spiritual issues are the domain of the church.

In other words, people should never think for themselves, but just let the church, and its interpretation of the Bible, tell them what to think.

Obviously, not even all creationists will agree with every assertion in this paper.

Why even mention that as an issue? Oh, because you expect all creationists to agree with every assertion in the Bible.

The spiritual implications of accepting evolution have been eloquently and comprehensively argued by many creationist organizations. Yet, for far too long the creation-evolution debate has been viewed by many, even in the church, as an abstract, academic topic with little relevance to real life.

Actually, most people in the church accept evolution outright, but you don’t want to admit that, do you?

Man-made global warming is a direct product of evolutionary thinking, and the potential impacts are very applicable to real life.

Confusing words here. I think he meant “The man-made global warming hypothesis is a direct product of evolutionary thinking.” In any case, that first part is a falsehood, since the issue of lines of organisms changing over time has nothing to do with climate change.

Proposed secular solutions to the alleged claims of global warming will directly impact everyone who depends on fossil fuels for their current life style. The issue of global warming presents biblical creationists with an opportunity to demonstrate not only the efficacy of Scripture in addressing life’s issues, but also to show how ignoring Scripture leads to unnecessary, expensive, and harmful actions.

Sure, just as unearthing and burning fossil fuels is never harmful. Tell that to the people living around the Gulf of Mexico, where that oil spill from BP’s broken well is still ruining the waters and the coast!

God is the creator of the universe. In His Word, the Bible, God has addressed every area of life (family, state, church, science, man, sin, etc.). God’s Word is truth. The revelation given to us in Scripture is sufficient to enable man to understand the world around him and make decisions that will honor God and benefit mankind. When faced with a challenge, a follower of Christ should first ask, “What has God said that will help me understand this issue and respond in a manner that honors Him?”

I already addressed these claims here: http://dalehusband.wordpress.com/2009/05/09/the-bible-cannot-be-the-word-of-god/  And if God is the creator of the universe, then what you find when you examine the universe should match what is stated in the Bible. If that were so, evolution as a credible scientific theory would never have been established. Nor would the idea that the universe is more than a few thousand years old, or even that some stars are bigger and  brighter than the Sun, as explained here: http://dalehusband.wordpress.com/2009/05/18/its-not-just-evolution-that-discredits-genesis/ In any case, equating any man-made book with the “Word of God” should be seen as nothing more than idolatry or blasphemy: http://dalehusband.wordpress.com/2007/07/23/religious-fundamentalism-is-blasphemy/

There follows a list of terms associated with the subject of climate change that is generally accurate.

Before our country commits to spending billions (probably trillions) of dollars on CO2 reduction, we need to consider what light the Bible can shed on this issue.

Strange that Answers in Genesis never says anything about the wars being fought in Afghanistan or Iraq or about the actions of the state of Israel, maybe because like most Christian fundamentalists, they blindly support those wars and Israel, no matter what. See this earlier entry for details: http://dalehusband.wordpress.com/2009/02/11/how-christian-bigots-make-the-peace-process-of-israel-and-palestine-impossible/

Exactly why are global warming advocates so concerned about burning fossil fuels and the harvesting of forests? It must be kept in mind that global warming advocates are predominantly evolutionists. Al Gore readily admits that he is an evolutionist (Gore 2006, p. 160).

Evolution had nothing to do with the known processes of climate change, past or present.

Accordingly, they believe that there was a time in the distant past when earth’s atmosphere contained a much higher percentage of CO2 (over 21%) and no oxygen (O2). They believe the earth’s atmosphere developed O2 only as a result of photosynthesis by plants or bacteria (Bergman and Renwick 2003, p. 137). Advocates believe that forests, especially tropical rain forests, are the largest reservoir for storing carbon and generating oxygen on land. This helps explain their strong desire to protect rain forests. From an evolutionary perspective it is easy to see why preserving forests and reducing CO2 is important, even if the projected catastrophes are unfounded or exaggerated.

Studies of rocks from billions of years ago support these conclusions, even without reference to evolution. Plants and cyanobacteria DO release oxygen into the atmosphere. There are vast amounts of plant matter in the tropical rain forests. You need no knowledge of or belief in evolution to understand these facts.

The Bible provides frank and absolutely reliable direction for every moral issue experienced by mankind.

No it doesn’t! Read the book of Joshua to see a campaign of conquest and genocide by the ancient Hebrews, done under God’s total approval. Would this writer claim that genocide is moral?

The biblical position on moral issues like abortion and homosexuality are clear to those who accept the inspiration of Scripture and who understand the straightforward implications of Scripture on these issues, but other issues require thoughtful study of Scripture.

The Bible actually does not address the modern issue of abortion (though fundamentalists will twist biblical passages to make it appear otherwise) and it must be noted that Jesus himself said nothing about homosexuality. Do Christians really follow Jesus when they bash homosexuals based on either Old Testament  laws or the writings of Paul, who wasn’t even an original desciple of Jesus?

The Bible-science movement is keenly interested in determining the original intent of biblical passages. A joint study by the Creation Research Society and the Institute for Creation Research called Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth (RATE) illustrates this point. The study team included a Hebrew scholar, Dr. Steven Boyd, whose task was to determine if the Genesis creation verses are narrative or poetry, a critical question. If the passages are poetry then they merely illustrate a spiritual truth, but if they are narrative then they describe real events and real people. Dr. Boyd determined that Genesis 1:1 to 2:3 is narrative with a 99.996% probability at a 99.5% confidence level (Vardiman et al. 2005, p. 690).

When Jesus spoke in parables, was he speaking poetry? Doesn’t look like it. In any case, it doesn’t matter, because the literal meaning of the Genesis accounts is discredited anyway. I said accounts because there are two of them and the other begins at Gen. 2:4. Dr. Boyd seems to have not looked at that one.

A created atmosphere has purpose, stability, and is more robust than a randomly evolved atmosphere.

Then can this writer explain why we are cursed with hurricanes, tornados, thunderstorms and other disasters resulting from atmospheric distubances? Oh, it must be due to human sin! But since animals and plants also suffer from storms, are they all sinners too?

Aside from all the other reasons for which God may have created plants, the Bible specifically states that He made them for human and animal food, and this is largely being ignored by global warming advocates.

Aside from some plants being poisonous to us, it must be noted that the effect of global warming on agriculture is indeed a major concern of scientists researching climate change.

Since all animals and mankind were vegetarians originally, plants were created as a reliable and sustainable source of food.

Idiotic premise leading to a bad conclusion. If many animals became carnivores later, that means they EVOLVED, right? I guess Creationists deny evolution when it offends them and affirms it when it suits their purposes. That’s flatly dishonest.

As people began eating meat, they became even more dependent on vegetation as a source of food because the animals we eat all must consume multiple pounds of vegetation for each pound of meat produced.

Al Gore himself has called for people to eat less meat, and it is possible that over time more and more people will become vegetarian or vegan. But while the Old Testament laws forbid the eating of certain types of meat, it also calls for animal sacrifice as a regular religious ritual.

While it is true that harvesting of forest products should be done in line with intelligent use of that ecosystem, unless forests are periodically harvested, allowing new growth and providing a useful product, they have little direct economic benefit for mankind. As the human population increases then it is reasonable to convert forests to the production of food and building material. From a creation perspective there is nothing sacred about preserving forests. They are to be efficiently and effectively managed for the benefit of mankind. Nonetheless, there is little justification for the wanton destruction of forests for short-term economic benefit. As stewards accountable to God we should manage all earth resources with a long-term, biblical, perspective.

Unless you also beleive that Jesus will eventually return to save humanity from the anti-Christ. Then you can chop down forests at will and wait for Jesus to bail us out later.

It should also be noted that as plants began growing and covering the earth following Creation week, they were removing CO2 from the environment. Land plants removed CO2 from the atmosphere while marine plants removed CO2 from the ocean. In addition, marine animals that developed carbonate shells also removed CO2 from the ocean.

The Bible does not actually say any such thing.

God never rebuked mankind for mining, farming, ranching, or cutting trees for building projects. All of these activities are part of man’s God-given rule over the earth. Throughout Scripture, however, God has repeatedly rebuked man for disobedience to His moral commands.

People who lived thousands of years ago had no idea how limited the Earth really was or how tremendous their populations would eventually get. Hench their limited priorities, which they transmitted to their “Scripture” and put in God’s mouth.

The Flood likely increased the temperature of the ocean. As we will see later, a warm sea following the Flood helps explain another important post-Flood phenomena, the ice age.

Bull$#it. Ice ages have never been mentioned in the book of Genesis or anywhere else in the Bible.

At Creation and immediately after the Flood, plants were just beginning to cover the earth yet there was no shortage of oxygen in the atmosphere. God established enough oxygen in the original atmosphere to sustain life throughout the duration of the earth. This highlights the fact that plants are not necessary for generating oxygen.

Clearly, this moron does not know what a “fact” is. It is a confirmed observation. Where is the confirmed observation that plants are not necessary for generating oxygen? Actually, there would have been plants, including algae, in the oceans that could have continued to provide oxygen throughout the flood.

As an aside, during the Flood every man and animal on the ark would have been classified as an “endangered species” according to current definition. All animal life today is descended from one or a few pairs of animals that were carried on the ark.

If that is true, then all animals should indicate via their genomes a “bottleneck effect” showing that they are all descended from a very few ancestors recently. And by “all animal life” would that include fish, whales, crabs, and other animals that live in the oceans? Could the ark have held all of these species?

 The argument over burning fossil fuels versus ethanol can be reduced to a question of whether it is best to burn old plants or new plants. Burning old plants (fossil fuels) is much more efficient, and therefore “green.”

This is sheer insanity. Ethanol comes from plants growing today that can be grown again and thus ethanol is a renewable resource. By contrast, coal, oil, and other fossil fuels, if they were made during the flood, are indeed nonrenewable. Coal is FAR more polluting than any other fuel, since it is full of impurities that ethanol produced by man from agriculture would not have.

 Considering the total volume of fossil fuel captured in rocks, and the volume of carbonate rocks, it can be seen that a significant amount of CO2 has been removed from the pre-Flood environment (atmosphere and ocean) and locked up in sedimentary formations. Another significant volume of CO2 has been removed since the Flood and is tied up in plants and animals that have subsequently developed. As a result of burying a major proportion of earth’s plant and animal life, the Flood likely caused far greater changes to atmospheric gases than any current global warming scenario.

Strangly, most scientists would agree with this, except they would see the process as taking place over millions of years and due to many local floods rather than only one global flood.

Global warming is described as a worldwide catastrophe by the radical environmentalists and the media. The tribulation of Revelation certainly contains events that sound like some of the dire predictions associated with global warming. Unlike global warming, the tribulation is initiated directly by God, as judgment on sinful mankind, and is a sudden, not a gradual change. People undergoing the tribulation realize that it is from God, as a result of their sinful behavior, but they intentionally refuse to repent. We should not confuse the claims of global warming with tribulation events.

What a convenient disclaimer. I guess if you want to make a rationalization for Big Business to continue abusing the ecosystems of the world, this is a perfect example. I suppose they could have claimed that people would blame global warming for the disasters depicted in Revelation and thus refuse to repent, but that would have violated their own assumptions about people who do not follow their assumptions (because they claim such people are not only mistaken, but downright evil and stupid). Clearly, this writer didn’t think things through before he submitted this huge load of nonsense to Answers in Genesis. He was too obsessed with slandering opponents of Creationism.

God is in absolute control of His creation. He is the Creator (Genesis 1 and 2). God destroyed His creation in the days of Noah with a worldwide flood (Genesis 7–9). God sets the boundary for the seas (Job 38:8–11, Psalm 104:9, Jeremiah 5:22) and controls the weather: lightning (Job 28:26, 37:3), hail (Job 38:22, Psalm 147:17, Haggai 2:17), rain (Job 28:26, 37:6, Psalm 147:8), and snow (Job 37:6, 38:22, Psalm 147:16). Someday God will destroy this earth and establish a new heaven and a new earth (Revelation 21:1). Man is not in control of the weather and this present earth is temporary.

Is this writer sure he is not describing the gods of Hinduism? No wonder some Christian fundamentalists claim that AIDS, earthquakes, hurricanes and other natural disasters are punishments from God. With a sadistic God like this, who needs Satan?

The rest of that article is just more fallacious and downright fraudulant crap, repeating and detailing the earlier unsupported assertions, all based on the blind assumption that the statements in the Bible are all literally true. They also recycle many global warming denialist canards.

For more information, look here:

http://dalehusband.wordpress.com/category/scientific/global-warming/

2 thoughts on “Misusing the Bible to deny global warming

  1. One wonders why they feel the need for Carbon to be accounted for across the flood boundary, whilst not even attempting to explain where all the extra water briefly came from.

  2. Heck, I first got interested in global warming after the intelligent design proponents I was following (to debunk) at the time started going on about “climategate”. Obviously, the uncovering of the global scientific conspiracy to promote global warming proved what they’d been saying all along about there being a global scientific conspiracy to prop up evolution! Orac has described this as the “vindication of all kooks“.

    One thing, AiG tend to regard just about all non-biblical forms of thinking as “evolutionary thinking” (images from the creation museum in Kentucky): evolution leads to the evils of society leads to (horror of horrors) millions of years.

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