The Biblical Flat Earth: A Response To The Institution For Creation Research

The Institute for Creation Research was "founded by Dr. Henry Morris in 1970," and "exists to conduct scientific research within the realms of origins and earth history, and then to educate the public both formally and informally through graduate and professional training programs, through conferences and seminars around the country, and through books, magazines, and media presentations."

This particular Institute addressed the issue of the flat earth in a article entitled "Is The Earth Really Round?" I wish to respond to it here.

The first objection reads:

"Without a doubt, Earth is round, or nearly so. Using careful measurements from the ground and observations from space we can be certain it is essentially a sphere, with only minor bulging near the equator. If reduced to the size of a billiard ball, it would be perfectly smooth, and we wouldn't even be able to feel the highest mountains or deepest oceans. The erosive action of rainfall, glaciers and wind couple with gravity to relocate material from higher elevations to lower ones, rounding the globe. We actually observe these familiar mechanisms at work in the present."

My response:

The first thing I would like to point out is that this ministry starts out carefully revealing their bias in the words "without a dout the earth is round." So from the very beginning they work from the assumption that everything that NASA has delivered has been excepted as truth and was not even a question in their minds. Oddly enough, the roundness of the earth isn't perfectly round but "nearly so." Meaning, the earth isn't PERFECTLY round or spherical. I certainly appreciate that form of honesty especially after having heard the Mason, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, say the the earth is pear-shaped! Here is the clip from the man himself. A pear isn't even "nearly" round!

Isn't it also interesting that he compares the earth spinning to pizza dough that, when it spins it "flattens out?" So when ICR says there is minor bulging when it is compared to a pear I would suggest that there is MAJOR bulging. Furthermore, how come we never see this "bulging" from the supposed pictures of NASA depciting the earth? Every single picture of NASA depicts a perfectly round earth without any hint of a bulge.

They go on to say that "the erosive action of rainfall, glaciers and wind couple with gravity to relocate material from higher elevations to lower ones, rounding the globe."  This is merely an assertion based upon the assumption that the earth is a sphere and it is only gravity which can explain everything that occurs in this respect. The flat earth position wouldn't deny that ice melts and collects at the bottoms of mountains or other areas of the earth. Consider the great rivers of the earth and the different directions in which they flow.

Some of these rivers flow North, others South, and still others flow East and some West. Some are South below the equator and others are near or North of the equator. The net result of these rivers are to flow downhill. If, however, we take inconsideration that the ball earth is spinning from west to east with speeds up to 1,000 mph, and that curvature of the Earth, which is curving in all directions, these rivers would have to follow the curvature and also be fighting against the direction of the spin of the earth in some cases. In other cases these rivers would be flowing uphill and downhill. Furthermore some of these rivers are thousands of miles long and never represent the curvature of the earth. The Nile which runs 4,258 miles has one one foot of drop which is completely impossible given the curvature of the earth.

“Rivers run DOWN to the sea because of the inclination of their beds.  Rising at an altitude above sea-level, in some cases thousands of feet above the sea, they follow the easiest route to their level - the sea.  The ‘Parana’ and ‘Paraguay’ in South America are navigable for over 2,000 miles, and their waters run the same way until they find their level of stability, where the sea tides begin.  But if the world be a globe, the ‘Amazon’ in South America that flows always in an easterly direction, would sometimes be running uphill and sometimes down, according to the movement of the globe.  Then the ‘Congo’ in West Africa, that always pursues a westerly course to the sea, would in the same manner be running alternately up and down.  When that point of the globe exactly between them was up, they would both be running up, although in opposite directions; and when the globe took half a turn, they would both be running down!  We know from practical experiment that water will find its level, and cannot by any possibility remain other than level, or flat, or horizontal - whatever term may be used to express the idea.  It is therefore quite out of the range of possibility that rivers could do as they would have to do on a globe.”  -Thomas Winship, “Zetetic Cosmogeny” page 110

Also, consider bridges that run across large bodies of water which appear to contradict the curvature.

ICR goes on to its next objection by saying:

"By the way, the Bible has always taught a spherical Earth. There are, of course, instances of phenomenological language, where the author refers to what the viewer can see, just as we do today when communicating. We talk about "flat" terrain or a "flat" ocean even though we know they follow Earth's curvature. It is flat to our eyes and to our listener's eyes. But when the issue of Earth's shape is addressed in Scripture, the Hebrew wording implies sphericity (see Isaiah 40:22, etc.)."

This is FLATLY false. Isaiah uses the Hebrew word "chug" in Isaiah 40:22 which depicts a circle. Even the ISV translates it as "disk." Furthermore, the proper word for ball is "dur" in Hebrew. That Isaiah knew the difference between the two is demonstrated in his usage of both of them ("dur" being used in Isaith 22:18 aND 29:3).

Now, compare the Hebrew word "chug" which Isaiah uses in 40:22

Clearly the Hebrew word Isaiah uses in Isaiah 40:22 does NOT imply a sphere! This institution research ministry literally lied about the words that were used here and didn't even attempt to address them!

ICR goes on to say:

"This may seem unimportant, but evolutionists often belittle creation thinking by comparing it to belief in a flat Earth. Certainly most who do so are merely repeating catchy insults from others, even though there are many who make the claim maliciously and purposively. While this may make them feel superior it belies a great misunderstanding (or misrepresentation) of creation and of the nature of science itself!"

Finally ICR get's something right. IT IS UNIMPORTANT! Who cares what an atheist thinks or believes? This historical debate traces back two men. Gerardus Bouw, who was a Christian geo-centrist who argued against Robert Schadewald who was an atheist which argued that the Bible teaches a flat earth. Why is it that one is supposed to sacrifice the truth just because a proclaimed atheist supports it? Obviously Robert's point was not to endorse the authenticity and inspiration of the Bible but to point out the flaws of Christians that only went as far as geo-centrism while rejecting and alienating other Christians which held to the flat earth.

This argument used by ICR contains two logical fallacies. One is called "Argument from Motives" whereby "the fallacy of declaring a standpoint or argument invalid solely because of the evil, corrupt or questionable motives of the one making the claim. E.g., "Bin Laden wanted us out of Afghanistan, so we have to keep up the fight!" Even evil people with corrupt motives sometimes say the truth (and even those who have the highest motives are often wrong or mistaken). A variety of the Ad Hominem argument. The counterpart of this is the fallacy of falsely justifying or excusing evil or vicious actions because of the perpetrator's purity of motives or lack of malice. (E.g., "He's a good Christian man; how could you accuse him of doing something like that?")

The second fallacy is called "Guilt By Association." This is "the fallacy of trying to refute or condemn someone's standpoint, arguments or actions by evoking the negative ethos of those with whom one associates or of a group, religion or race to which he or she belongs. A form of Ad Hominem Argument. (E.g., "Don't listen to her. She's a Republican so you can't trust anything she says.")  An extreme instance of this is the "For my enemies, nothing" Fallacy, where perceived "enemies" are always wrong and must be conceded nothing, not even the time of day, e.g., "He's a Republican, so I don't care if he said the sky is blue; I still wouldn't believe him."

ICR continues by saying:

"Of course creationists and evolutionists agree fully on Earth's shape. It involves observational science. Earth can be observed to be round. This is not a matter of interpretation. This is simply an observational fact. To deny it is to deny observation, and no one does."

Wrong. Only those "Christians" agree with Evolutionists because they have decided to "accept" the pictures from NASA. Pictures are not necessarily how "observational" science works nor should it be given the ability to easily manipulate pictures that exists today through photo-shop. Further, observational science is intended to measure, conduct experiments, which are repeatable and observable. Many such experiments have been conducted and have NOT demonstrated a round spinning ball earth.

ICR finishes the article by saying:

"So in reality, evolution claims bear more resemblance to flat Earth claims than does creation thinking. Based as it is on a rather unsupported view of the past, and a denial of present observations, its supporters really shouldn't be throwing stones at those who are doing better science."

This is utterly foolish. Evolution is simply a lie. Yes, it can be demonstrated through observational science that it is completely unfounded and based purely upon "theories" that are not repeated nor observed today. The flat earth is ALSO based upon observation, experiments, and these are repeatable. Anyone can conduct tests, experiments, which many have. No flat earther has ever said "believe me." What we are first saying is, "believe the Word of God." That is the foundation and basis of all knowledge and wisdom. Further, we would say, go conduct your own tests! Do your own research! If you are a skeptic, fine. Go and explore the issue for yourself!

That is what I will now say to ICR. First, you must believe your Bibles rather than completely misrepresent the Hebrew which they clearly did here regarding Isaiah 40:22. Further, go and conduct your own "experiments," such as laser tests across Lake Michigan. When I say "experiments" I do not mean show me a picture from NASA!

Pictures can be faked, video's can be altered, and lets not forget, man can be deceived! While the flat earth is based upon the Scriptures FIRST, it is also supported by observational (and repeatable) experiments. While there are certainly pictures the depict the flatness of the earth they are NOT the basis of the belief.

Let God be true and every man a liar.

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