Bodie Hodge at Answers in Genesis and Bill Nye: Further Out to the Fringes of Sanity (In their own different ways, of course)

For the past two years, I have written quite a lot about the creation/evolution debate, and perhaps two of the main points I have emphasized time and time again have been (1) the young earth creationism (YECism) of Ken Ham is neither scientific nor biblical, and has never been considered a fundamental tenet of the Christian faith, and (2) one needs to separate the biological theory of evolution from the worldview of philosophical materialism/atheism—the two are not the same thing. The failure to make that distinction has led to much of the chaos and confusion in the debate.

In any case, over the past ten days I’ve come across two examples that illustrate how both extremes of the creation/evolution debate are taking a few more steps towards each’s respective fringes. First, Bodie Hodge of Answers in Genesis recently wrote an article on the AiG website entitled, “About 6,000-10,000 Years—Does It Matter?” His answer is a resounding, “Yes it matters! 10,000 years undermines biblical authority! The Bible says 6,000 years—6,000 years means 6,000 years! That’s that!”

Secondly, Bill Nye has recently made a few headlines with his Netflix series, Bill Nye Saves the World. In one episode, he had Rachel Bloom on, and she performed something that I guess was supposed to be a song and dance routine…all about transgenderism, in which she sang it really was just evolution doing its thing.

Now let me issue a spoiler alert: this post might surprise you, especially if you’re familiar with my writing on the creation/evolution debate. I’m going to just come right out and say it: Bodie Hodge is actually being consistent and Bill Nye has checked into the Funny Farm. But both are rushing headlong to the outer fringes of sanity.

Bodie Hodge

Bodie Hodge’s Claims: 6,000 Years, or Else You’re Undermining the Bible
Now obviously, I do not agree with Bodie Hodge at all when it comes to interpreting Genesis 1-11 or the age of the earth. I think he is utterly wrong to interpret Genesis 1-11 as actual science and history, and therefore he is utterly wrong about both Genesis 1-11 and the scientific question about the age of the earth. As I have argued elsewhere, it seems pretty clear to me that Genesis 1-11 is written in the literary genre of ancient Near Eastern myth in order to subvert and challenge the pagan ANE worldview, and therefore is not written to address our modern scientific questions about the origins of the material world at all.

Therefore, I don’t see why anyone would try to “fit science” into the creation account. For me, concordism is a fruitless endeavor, because Genesis 1-11 isn’t addressing scientific concerns in the first place. If you spend your time trying to make Genesis 1-11 “fit” with modern scientific discoveries somehow, you’re going to miss the actual intended and inspired message God is trying to convey.

Ironically, in a twisted way, this is kind of what Bodie Hodge is arguing in his article. But first, allow me to offer a brief recap of what he says. Essentially, he claims that “millions of years” is the dating system of “secular humanism,” and when Christians avoid addressing the subject of the age of the earth, they leave room for Christians “to mix their Christianity with certain tenets of other religions like humanism’s origins account.”

Therefore, in Hodge’s eyes, even YECists who try to give a little wiggle room regarding the age of the earth by saying it could be anywhere between 6,000-10,000 years old are giving away too much and are undercutting biblical authority: “It is the issue of trying to stretch as much time out in the Bible as you can. Why? Is it because we are still influenced by the secular world inundating us with long ages? Do we really think that if we stretch out some dates in the Old Testament we will look better to the world? I suggest not. The world wants you to doubt God’s Word because they doubt God’s Word.”

Hodge therefore is adamant: the genealogies in the Bible clearly add up to 2,000 years from the creation of Adam to the birth of Abraham; then another 2,000 years from Abraham to Jesus, and we know it has been 2017 years from Jesus to the present day. That totals about 6,000 years, period. Therefore, to try and fit a few extra thousand years in those early genealogies is not biblical, or as Hodge claims, logical. The only reason one tries to add a few more thousand years is because one is still being influence by “extra-biblical ideas” and secular humanism’s claims.

Therefore, Hodge asks, “Why do you do it? Do you think that’s going to convince secular humanists? All you’ve really done is case more doubt on the Bible because you’re saying the Bible got a few things wrong.” And therefore: “When you leave open the possibility for the earth to be 10,000 years old, you are suggesting that God erred in numerous places in the Bible. …If you can’t trust the Bible in the area of genealogies, then why trust it anywhere? This would be a dangerous step toward unbelief, especially if taught to unsuspecting children.”

Guess What? Hodge Has a Valid Point!
I couldn’t help but realize that, yes, Hodge actually has a valid point…for YECists: if you are going to claim that Genesis 1-11 is really doing science and history, and if you therefore insist that it teaches the earth is not millions of years old, and is therefore “young,” seriously…why are you bothering to add another 4,000 years? What’s the point? If you are going to insist that the Bible is 100% inerrant and historically/scientifically accurate in all things, then how can you claim God left out about 4,000 years of genealogies?

Hodge has a point: if you going to claim Genesis 1-11 is science and history, then go full throttle and take that claim to its logical conclusion: 6,000 years or compromise. There can be no in-between. I have to give credit to Hodge on this one point: he’s consistent in his ultra-fundamentalist, anti-scientific, biblical-literalist take on Genesis 1-11.

Of course, he’s entirely wrong in the way he interprets Genesis 1-11, and he routinely displays the inability to differentiate between the scientific theory of evolution and the worldview of philosophical materialism, and he is known for making rather bizarre claims like (1) Noah had access to advanced technology, and (2) the pre-flood civilization rebelled against God by not engaging in sex and thus being fruitful and multiplying—but I have to hand it to him: the man is committed to his view, as unbiblical and unscientific as it is.

Hodge’s ultra-fundamentalist consistency shows the logical conclusion to YECist claims. Ultimately, if you insist that Genesis 1-11 is doing science and history, and if you insist there can be no compromise or any other way of interpreting it, then no compromise must mean no compromise—any deviation at all from the absolute literal calculation of the genealogies found in the Bible must be seen as compromise and undermining biblical authority.

Such is the mindset of AiG. And to my mind, such is the mindset of a burgeoning cult-like mentality.

What the Heck is Going on with Bill Nye?
On the other end of the spectrum, Bill Nye has recently shown, for all his insistence on science, that he is not immune from rushing off to the fringes of reality as well. Recently on his Netflix show, he welcomed the actress Rachel Bloom, from the show Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and she performed a song and dance routine about how transgenderism and freaky sexual experimentation was just natural and evidence of evolution. You read that right—that is nothing short of insane. In fact, if you do a little online research, you’ll find just how revolting people found it to be. As one article entitled, “Bill Nye Destroys What is Left of His Credibility,” put it, There really are no words suitable to describe the unhinged absurdity of the segment.” Have a vomit bag handy:

Here are the actual lyrics:

This world of ours is full of choice
But must I choose between only John or Joyce?
Are my options only hard or moist?
My vagina has its own voice
Not vocal cords, a metaphorical voice
Sometimes I do a voice for my vagina
Please don’t tell me I’m the only one who does that
‘Cause my sex junk is so oh, oh, oh much more than either or, or, or
Power bottom or power top
Versatile love may have some butt stuff
It’s evolution, ain’t nothing new
There’s nothing taboo about a sex stew
Just add salt or Gerard Depardieu, French treasure
‘Cause my sex junk is so oh, oh, oh much more than either or, or, or
If they’re alive I’ll date ’em, Channing or Jenna Tatum
I’m down for anything; don’t box in my box
Give someone new a handy; then give yourself props

(Male voice: Oh you think you’re so smart, did you learn gay in college?)

Chill with all of that while I drop some knowledge
Sexuality’s a spectrum, everyone is on it
Even you might like it if you sit up on it
Drag queen, drag king, just do what feels right
You’re tall pansexual, flirty wood sprite
Who enjoys a fleshlight in the cold moonlight?

(Male voice: With a sad clown Skyping via satellite?)

Damn skippy, home slice, sing it with me all night
Sex how you want it, it’s your goddamn right
‘Cause my sex junk is so oh, oh, oh much more than either or, or, or
Get off your soapbox
My sex junk’s better than bagels with lox with lots of schmear

This is Why So Many Evangelicals are Scared of Evolution
I don’t know what’s worse: the utter lack of talent that song and dance displayed, or the utter moral degeneracy it promoted. Of course, the shot of Bill Nye trying to rock out at the hip-hop turntables is probably just as troubling.

But let’s cut to the chase: this is the sort of thing that makes Evangelical Christians so hostile toward evolution. This is the sort of moral anarchy that is so alarming to men like Ken Ham—and rightly so. To be clear, what makes this little bit so reprehensible is that (a) it promotes what I can call nothing other than sexual anarchy, and (b) it points to evolution as justification for this kind of behavior. Both are utterly wrong and damaging.

When Ken Ham goes off about “fighting the culture war,” this is the sort of thing he has in mind. And on that point, actually agree with him. I completely disagree with him on how to react to these kinds of trends we see in our society today, but I do agree that what we see here is a symptom of something that is dreadfully wrong in our society. That is a whole topic in and of itself, but what makes it so dangerous is it is doing the exact same thing that the likes of Margaret Sanger, Margaret Mead, and Alfred Kinsey did in the first half of the 20th century (you can read about them in a few posts I have recently written: Sanger and Mead/Kinsey): it is promoting utterly irresponsible sexual libertinism, and it is claiming that science and evolution justify it.

Not only is that false, it is, I believe, the big reason why so many Christians are scared of evolution: when men like Bill Nye debate Ken Ham, making utterly valid scientific points during the debate (which he did), but then turn around and, in the name of science, put forth this kind of pathetically obscene garbage—not only is he giving legitimate science a bad name, he is advocating a vision of society that will be its ruin.

The Bloodhound Gang and their song “Do it Like They Do it on the Discovery Channel”

If someone does not know much about the actual scientific theory of evolution, they are going to be easily swayed by this sort of pseudo-scientific crap, and think that evolution provides a philosophical basis for, as the song….. says, “Do it like they do it on the Discovery Channel.”

Conclusion
When it comes to the Nye/Ham debate, I’m still going to argue that Bill Nye actually gave valid scientific points, whereas Ken Ham didn’t. But I’m certainly not going to defend Bill Nye for this kind of insanity. But we need to get people to see the how fringe both men—Bodie Hodge and Bill Nye alike—really are when it comes to their particular worldview.

What Bodie Hodge’s article puts on display for all to see is what the ultra-fundamentalism of AiG eventually leads to: fanatical literalism that must condemn any view that deviates even one iota from the YECist gospel of Ham. I have long said that YECism is fundamentally a heresy. Hodge’s comments push it more and into a cult.

What Bill Nye has put on display is a blatant hijacking of science and the theory of evolution to promote unrestrained sexual anarchy. Now, if evolution was the same thing as atheism (which it isn’t) and if the natural world is all there is to reality (which it isn’t), and if therefore we should take our moral cues from the natural world (we shouldn’t), then yes, “do whatever feels right,” as Rachel Bloom says. If you make evolution the basis for your philosophical worldview and morals, guess what? This is what you get. And the fact that this is the sort of thing that is being promoted and celebrated in some circles of our society should be alarming to anyone who has a moral center…and a brain.

I hope more people will wake up, use their brain, and see that the best thing to do is let the likes of Bodie Hodge and Bill Nye continue to run further out to the fringes of reality and sanity, but then convince as many as possible to stop following them. At some point, the fringe will reach a cliff, and lemmings—whether the ultra-fundamentalist or sexually libertine—will just keep going.

Don’t be a lemming. Be a human being who is created in God’s image. Open your eyes and see that neither of these two ways leads to life.

12 Comments

  1. I agree in general with your article. I have a minor quibble.

    I think there is a difference between being a YEC and being a YEC-ONLY. I would reserve the term heresy to the latter. Perhaps this is what you meant, not sure.

    I think AiG plays a game of shifting between these 2 positions and for that they can be called out as being inconsistent.

    1. Yes, basically you’re correct. And what’s more, it is becoming apparent that for AiG, being “young earth” isn’t good enough anymore…They are doubling down on an even more literalistic reading of Genesis 1-11. They are shutting more and more people out as “compromisers.”

  2. That video was shocking, and if I had seen it without knowing where it came from, I would have guessed it was some sick attempt by evangelicals to discredit science. OTOH, I have never liked Nye, who really knows very little about science, other than some promotional tricks, and I think its a tragedy that he was selected to debate Ham. If AiG were serious they would pit him against a real scientist like Francis Collins.

    1. I completely agree. At the same time, the specific scientific points Nye made in the debate were valid.

      That being said, he certainly has been able to revive his career since that debate. Opportunism, perhaps?

  3. Ammunition provided to Ken Ham and Ray Comfort in their absurd crusades against science, including man-caused global warming: http://www.wnd.com/2017/04/science-guy-how-about-smut-peddler/ This just reveals the sharp divide between the (far) right and the left in America. “The Bible, on the other hand, passes the scientific method. The book of Genesis says that every animal brings forth after its own kind, and that there is male and female. We see that in the existing creation and in the fossil record. It passes the scientific test. Darwinian evolution doesn’t. It’s nothing but a fairytale for grown-ups. It’s unproven and unprovable, but it’s embraced by millions because it opens the door to the delightful pleasures of sin, as the Bible says ‘for a season'”. Comfort is a bigot – and dangerous if taken as representative of Christianity in general. No wonder he and Ham are best buddies.

  4. That video was revolting. I have had my share of being shunned for not being YEC. But I cannot blame Ken Ham and his ilk for saying “see, this is where the theory of evolution leads.” Just great – we get to choose between Ham’s Dinotopia-plus-the-Bible (poorly interpreted Bible) and a moral relativism that has passed from skepticism to a frenzied insanity. Well, no, there are better choices but the loudest voices advocate fringe, crazy and destructive things.

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