Answers in Genesis, climate change, and vaccination

Forty days & nights of gospel music at the Ark – The Great Unmasked.

I was dismayed last Thursday to see the following paragraph posted by AiG under Ken Ham’s byline:

In the article [in The Conversation], the author uses the term science to refer to the so-called “scientific consensus” regarding things such as climate change alarmism, vaccinations, evolution, and a lack of “human exceptionalism.” But what the author is failing to recognize is the difference between observational and historical science. In other words, this author has a “difficult relationship with science” because the author doesn’t understand the word science.

For some time, Answers in Genesis has minimized the importance of human-made climate change, as have Creation Ministries International and the Discovery Institute, and this position of necessity involves denying the authority of a declared scientific consensus. However, Answers in Genesis has hitherto accepted the value of vaccines, and in two recent related articles, here and here, gives a detailed scientific account of how vaccines work, and praises their effectiveness in the context of the complexity of the immune system, which of course for AiG is evidence for creation.

The article in The Conversation, cited above, reports that “[p]eople with a libertarian or conservative worldview are more likely to reject climate change and evolution and are less likely to be vaccinated against COVID-19,” and in the US context relates such rejection of science and an exaggerated view of human exceptionalism, to religiosity.

The historical versus observation nonsense is familiar, as are the attacks on scientific consensus and on concern about climate change, and our models of climate change do indeed involve the “historical science” that uses ice cores and other techniques to map climate change throughout the Ice Ages and beyond. But including “vaccinations” in the areas of scientific consensus apparently to be rejected is alarming. The study of vaccine effectiveness is very much part of current observational science, and we can see no good reason for Answers in Genesis to be turning against it, even on their own terms. What we must fear is that AiG may be about to fall in line with other creationist institutions ranging from Grace Community Church to the Discovery Institute in minimizing the severity of an epidemic that is known to have killed 644,840 people in the US and 4,442,332 worldwide (as of August 22). AiG was from the outset ambivalent about masks, and even jokingly (or blasphemously) telling its readers not to be anxious about COVID just as Jesus told his disciples (Matthew 6:25-34) not to worry about the necessities of life. Despite a rash of articles in March and April of last year, arguing that the mutations giving rise to COVID were not really examples of evolution, AiG has published nothing of significance on the subject since that time.

This does not bode well.

This piece appeared first on PandasThumb. Thanks to Dan Phelps and to the Sensuous Curmudgeon for alerting us to the AIG post, and to Dan Phelps for unearthing the photograph from Ken Ham’s tweet lead.

About Paul Braterman

Science writer, former chemistry professor; committee member British Centre for Science Education; board member and science adviser Scottish Secular Society; former member editorial board, Origins of Life, and associate, NASA Astrobiology Insitute; first popsci book, From Stars to Stalagmites 2012

Posted on August 22, 2021, in Creationism, Health and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. You seem to have it not about the real answers in Genesis, but about some conservative American organisation or website, which seems to ignore the many words of the Divine Creator that man should take care of the earth.

    It also looks that “not to worry about the necessities of life” is totally misunderstood. Those people should better read the Bible once more from beginning to end to have a good picture of the responsibility we as human beings have to take concerning mother earth and all living beings around us.


  2. Can you convince us that you know better than God’s promise to always provide winter, spring, summer , autumn? Cold and Heat? Why do you call and demand others poo poo , in your words,a ‘stupid literalist’ view? And Augustine had a lot more in common with orthodox Bible interpretation than you do. Go ahead, Paul Braterman, show us the historical weather record. Where is climate not changing? It is supposed to change. Regardless of your lack of faith in nature to compensate for changes in climate, cow farts, human fossil fule usage has extremely small impact on our globe. Please measure , over time, the volume,of the atmosphere, the debth of the earth, and the temperature records, and you will find that the Biblical promise of Genesis 8:22 still holds up quite well.

    seedtime and harvest, cold and heat,
    summer and winter, and day and night
    will not cease.


    • You are incorrect. We know that the promise in Genesis does not prevent drought, famine, the shrinking of glaciers, and the spreading of deserts. To pretend that this verse gives us permission to ignore the plain evidence of climate change is eisegesis at its worst; reading into the text what is not there in order to suit ourselves.

      People have always been dying. But that’s no excuse for ignoring the pandemic. Climate has always been changing. But that’s no excuse for ignoring the present rapid change and its clear link to human activity. And the increase in CO2 in the atmosphere, and its effect as predicted by the laws of physics and as shown by observation, are plain facts.


  1. Pingback: Hippies, a president, a damaged ozone layer and knights – Some View on the World

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