If you want to know how to disprove creationism, just look up at the moon
The book of Genesis is the main book in the Bible creationists use to support their belief that the Earth is less than 10,000 years old. Creationists take the book of Genesis literally, as we all learned Tuesday evening, during the debate between Ken Ham and Bill Nye. Numerous times during the debate, Nye would raise a question, and Ham would respond “Well, there’s this book.” That book, of course, is the Bible.
Creationists believe that a catastrophic flood wiped out all of civilization and most other creatures on the planet, except for Noah, his family, and two of every animal on Earth. This flood is written about in the book of Genesis, and creationists like Ken Ham take it very literally. There are many other things covered in the book of Genesis: The garden of Eden, Cain and Abel, the first patriarchs, and of course, the creation of Earth.
During the debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham, I had four windows open on my computer, my teenage, Atheist son sitting next to me, and my Jerusalem Bible on my lap. While my son muttered under his breath, I was bouncing back and forth between scientific websites while reading the book of Genesis. And when Ken Ham began trotting out his astronomer friends as proof that a person can believe in creationism and study spacial bodies, I almost fell out of my chair.
From my copy of The Jerusalem Bible, Genesis chapter 1, verses 14-17:
God said “Let their be lights in the vault of heaven to divide day from night, and let them indicate festivals, days and years. Let them be lights in the vault of heaven to shine on the earth.” And so it was. God made the two great lights: the greater light to govern the day, the smaller light to govern the night, and the stars.
On the bottom of this page, there is a footnote that reads:
Their names are omitted deliberately: the sun and the moon were worshiped by neighboring peoples, and here they are treated as no more than lamps to light the earth and regulate the calendar.
According to the book of Genesis, the book creationists point to as proof the Earth is less than 10,000 years old, on the fourth day of creation, God made two lights, the sun and the moon. Except the moon isn’t a light.
The moon is a rock, covered with dead volcanoes, impact craters, and lava flows. Creationists believe the moon is a light, placed in the heavens by God. What creationists see as a “nightlight” is actually a mirror, reflecting the light of the sun. We have walked on the moon, we have a flag planted firmly on its’ surface, we can see the moon from Earth with a telescope. It is not a light.
If creationists believe the book of Genesis tells the true story of the creation of Earth, how do they account for the moon? Again, according to their own book, God created two lights. Science has proven the moon is not a light, or a star. Does this mean creationists do not believe we landed on the moon? The sun is a star, giving off immense heat and light. The sun is not a solid mass, therefore, we cannot land on it, or walk on it, or put a flag on the “surface.” The book of Genesis states the sun and the moon are both lights, while science proves they are not.
Bill Nye tried to point this out a few years ago in Texas. He joined a panel of pastors and Christian scientists in Waco for a symposium, and while speaking about the fact that the moon reflects light from the sun, he was booed. According to The Waco Tribune, a mother in the audience jumped to her feet, grabbed her kids, and ran out, yelling “We believe in God!”
Creationists in Texas aren’t the only ones who have a hard time understanding what the moon is, or what it does. In 2011, Bill O’Reilly had David Silverman, president of the American Atheist Group, on “The Factor.” Mr. Silverman’s group had put billboards up, declaring religion a “scam,” and Mr. O’Reilly disagreed. He told Silverman:
Tide goes in, tide goes out. Never a miscommunication. You can’t explain that.
When Silverman pointed out that we can, in fact, explain it, O’Reilly maintained his line of thought, his belief. After the program aired, O’Reilly responded to a question from a viewer about his statement. He told his audience that he understood about the moon, but how did it get there? How did the sun get there? Why don’t Venus or Mars “have that?” Well, Mars has two moons, Phobos and Deimos, while Venus has none. As for the sun, all the planets in our solar system orbit around the “greater light.” So while Venus and Mercury do not have moons now (scientists hypothesize this may not have always been the case), all planets have the sun.
I asked my husband, an agnostic bordering on Atheism, to weigh in on this. He really didn’t want to, until I gave him an analogy. What if he were reading a book about the oceans, and at one point, the author claimed that thousands of years ago, all the Earth’s seas were made of Jello? Would this statement cause doubt in my husband’s mind as to the other facts presented in the book? He thought for a few moments, then said yes, it would. If a book written by a man, or in the case of the Bible, many men, could be wrong about something that important, it would taint the rest of the information contained in that book.
The book of Genesis, with the statement that the moon is a light, disproves creationism. Creationism is at the core a belief, based on faith. But when creationists try to market their faith as fact, and try to teach it in our public schools, it becomes dangerous. The moon is not a light, the book of Genesis is not fact, and creationism is not science.