Tuesday, October 5, 2010

#65: Tim Chaffey

Chaffey runs some ministry in Wisconsin (Midwest Apologetics), and teaches (his version of) science at Tri-State Christian School in Galena, Illinois. Chaffey is most notable, however, as a writer/administrato for Ken Ham’s Answers in Genesis.

He has also co-authored “Old-Earth Creationism on Trial” with Jason Lisle (to be covered later), a young earth creationist book attacking not biology but – indeed – the ”other” strand of creationism, old earth creationism. It is covered here.

For a sample of the level of acumen at work, notice first Chaffey & Lisle define ”open-mindedness”: ”All ideas and theories should be subjected to rigorous self-examination, yet a similar self-critique is long overdue from the old-Earth creationists.” (pp.14)

Then notice their main charge against Old Earth Creationism: ”Since the Bible undisputedly teaches a young earth, when someone claims that scientific evidence proves otherwise, we can be certain they are mistaken.” (pp.153)

They also argue that science presupposes the infallibility of the Bible, for without the Bible there would be no such thing as truth and verification (shades of Troy Brooks here). And on the annoying detail that radiometric dating kinda goes against the idea of a 6000 years old earth: ”Additionally, God cursed the earth when Adam sinned (Gen 3:17-18). The Bible provides only a few details of how the world was changed, such as thorns and thistles. Can we be certain that radioactive decay rates were not affected?” And that’s pretty much their argument (Ignoratio elenchi is an inference rule for these guys). And in fact, according to Chaffey, he doesn’t need to bother with the problem of evil since ”only biblical Christianity can make sense of evil and suffering. Every other worldview, philosophy, and belief system fall woefully short.” The details are a little unclear.

From his bio page. The website for Midwest Apologetics is here. It’s a marvel.

Diagnosis: As kooky as they come. His influence might not be very wide-ranging, but he does spend a lot of effort ”teaching children biblical truth”.


  1. Your critique, which focuses primarily in the book "Old-Earth Creationism on Trial", seems to miss the point that an internal debate that is being addressed. The items you consider to be "glossed over" would not be considered "glossed over" by those who hold the opposing view since they hold certain Christian distinctive in common. The book is not written to address the objections of a non-Christian or any non-Creationist. If it were, then a more complete treatment of your objections would be warranted.

    Seems kind of hypocritical for you to point out the "flaws" and "oversights" in their writing while committing similar "omissions" in this very review. I guess that is to be expected in a site devoted to listing people that are "dumber" than you. What a weird thing to be dedicated to.

  2. "Kooky" Is that a scientific term?