Creation Museum CEO and President Ken Ham has written a blog post, blasting a Christian academic for overlooking Biblical authority in an attempt to explain the long lifespans of people mentioned in the Genesis 5 and 11 genealogies.
Ham, the founder of the apologetics ministry Answers in Genesis, supports a literal interpretation of the creation account in Genesis, and maintains that compromising God's Word in Genesis makes the Bible untrustworthy.
To make his point, Ham cites the example of an article written by Jim Stump, a PhD in philosophy from Boston University and the Content Manager at BioLogos, a group that promotes evolutionary beliefs.
Stump begins the article saying, "It is charged, people living for more than 900 years stands in conflict with BioLogos' acceptance of contemporary science… I should note that our acceptance of science does not at all imply that we think God never performs miracles. If God wanted to make Methuselah live to be 969 years old, we certainly believe that God could intervene in the natural order of things and make that happen. The question rather . . . is whether that is really the message of the text."
Stump makes it sound like anyone who believes in a literal Genesis has rejected "contemporary science," contends Ham. Accepting a literal Genesis means rejecting evolutionary ideas, and not observational science, he points out. "If it were true that biblical creationists had rejected all of science, there would be no creation scientists!"
Ham also criticizes Stump for claiming that the overall message of Genesis 5 and 11 overrides the need to understand the genealogies as literal history.
In his article, Stump says we don't really know what it meant to the ancients to attribute these numbers to the lives of the patriarchs, suggesting it was nothing more than symbolism.
"Actually, we do know what these numbers meant – they mean exactly what the text says," responds Ham. The patriarchs lived for hundreds of years because the lifespan of humans was longer shortly after the Fall, he explains.
Ham goes on to ask how Stump would explain the lifespans of people like Noah or Moses. "Moses was 120 years old when he died. Now, is that just a symbolic number? When do the genealogies become trustworthy again?"
Ham urges his readers not to be taken in by "such elaborate ideas, which are nothing more than fallible sinful man's attempts not to take God at His Word!"
"How arrogant is finite man in thinking he can tell God what He got wrong. How sad so many Christian academics think they can put themselves above the infallible Word!" Ham concludes.
A December 2013 Pew Research Center poll found that 60 percent of American adults believe that evolution is how the human species came to be, while 33 percent believe that humans have existed in their present form since the beginning. About 24 percent of respondents said they believe a "supreme being" guided the process of evolution, while 32 percent said that evolution is entirely due to natural processes.