Ken Ham Pushes Back Against Christian NASA Astronauts' Claims That Believers Can Accept Evolution; Argues Billions-Years-Old Universe Is 'Incompatible With Bible'
The Creation Museum CEO and President Ken Ham has responded to separate claims by two former Christian NASA astronauts who said that it is possible for believers to accept science and evolution and the idea that the universe is several billions of years old, by arguing that such beliefs go against the Bible.
Ham argued in a blog post on Answers in Genesis that such scientists "are ignoring many theological and scientific problems — and once again are confusing observational science and historical science."
Ham responded to two articles — one from May, in which Leslie Wickman, a scientist and former astronaut who once served as a Hubble Space Telescope engineer, argued that science and religion are not incompatible.
"It's an illusion of conflict … perpetuated by people at the extremes of the dialogue," said Wickman, who identifies as a Christian, according to The Blaze.
She reportedly added: "Because I believe that God is who He claims to be as the Creator of everything, then it doesn't seem logical to me that the truth about God and who He is could contradict the truth about His creation — and so, for me, there's this kind of fallacy in logic that if you study what God's created it's somehow going to contradict who He is."
In a separate article for The Associated Press, former U.S. Sen. John Glenn said that there is no contradiction between believing in God and evolution.
"I don't see that I'm any less religious by the fact that I can appreciate the fact that science just records that we change with evolution and time, and that's a fact," said Glenn, a Presbyterian, who was the first American to orbit the Earth in 1962.
"It doesn't mean it's less wondrous and it doesn't mean that there can't be some power greater than any of us that has been behind and is behind whatever is going on."
Glenn has also supported schools in the U.S. teaching evolution to children.
Ham pointed out some of the faults he found with the arguments made by Wickman and Glenn, saying: "Firstly, there is the problem of death before sin. Genesis 1:31 tells us that everything God made was 'very good.' Scripture also tells us that death is the result of sin (Genesis 2:17), not an original part of God's creation, 'Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned,' (Romans 5:12).
He continued: "But if God used evolution to create, then He used a process of millions of years of death, disease, bloodshed and suffering to create life. He then looked over millions of years of death, bloodshed, suffering, disease, and animal carnivory and called it 'very good.' The God who calls death 'the last enemy' (1 Corinthians 15:26) and will eventually destroy it in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:14) would not call death and suffering 'very good.' This is a major theological problem with evolution and millions of years — and it's just one of many," he said.
He pointed out that there are other scientific problem with the idea of an old universe, as well as with evolution. The Creation Museum CEO said that he has met many NASA scientists who are also biblical Creationists, and believe in a young universe.
"In 2011 one of these men, Bill Daniels, an engineer with NASA, came with his wife to the Creation Museum and reconnected with me. We are encouraged by the many biblical Creationists working at NASA and other places who uphold the authority of God's Word from the very beginning," Ham said.
Views on evolution and Creationism remain highly contrasting in the U.S., with a 2014 Gallup survey finding that 42 percent of adult respondents believe that God created humans in their present form around 10,000 years ago. Another 31 percent said that humans underwent evolution, but with God guiding the process, while 19 percent said God was not involved in the process at all.
Various Christian denominations also hold different views on the age of the universe and creation — the Roman Catholic Church, the largest church in the world, has said that evolution is compatible with Christian teaching.