Tag Archives: Creationism

Why Doesn’t Ken Ham Make Any Attempt to Prove He’s Right?

allosaur creation museum

The short answer is, the Bible says, no need to say anything else. 6,018 years ago, the God of the Christian Bible spoke the world into existence over the course of 6 literal 24 hour days. Never mind that everything we know about science, evolution, geology, and archeology tells us that  Ken Ham’s creation narrative is wrong. In the Bible Bubble™, all that matters is what God literally, word for word, said in Genesis 1-3. About 1,500- 2,000 years after creation, a catastrophic universal flood wiped out every living thing on earth, save the 8 humans and numerous animals on Noah’s Ark, exactly as it is reported in Genesis 6-8. Any other explanation, interpretation, or opinion is dismissed as false, a Satanic lie.

Tyler Francke, a Christian and an evolutionist, had this to say about Ken Ham’s unwillingness to prove he is right:

…Apparently, Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis and professional fundraiser, does not possess the same courage of conviction for his own irrational, unbiblical beliefs.

I’m not saying he is afraid of expressing what he believes, but any schlub can do that. What I’m talking about is putting yourself out there in such a way that the beliefs you claim are all-important can be publicly and demonstrably vindicated, or proven false.

That’s what Camping did, but I don’t see it in Ken Ham.

Now, you might be wondering what Ham and AiG could do, specifically, that would satisfy me. Well, I’m glad you asked.

You see, AiG’s Creation Museum recently received a pretty noteworthy donation — noteworthy in that it is the first exhibit the organization has ever owned that would actually be of interest to real scientists: a half-complete Allosaurus skeleton, said to be appraised at $1 million.

In press releases and blog posts from AiG, Ham explained that he has long coveted just such an exhibit: “For decades I’ve walked through many leading secular museums, like the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., and have seen their impressive dinosaur skeletons, but they were used for evolution. Now we have one of that class for our museum.”…

…Ham and his staff claim the fossil “challenges evolutionary thinking” and that the dinosaur died about 4,300 years ago in the global flood. But they have not explained how it does any of this. They have merely assured their followers that it does, with the same heavy-handed bluster and shallow rhetoric that characterizes everything that they do.

And it is in this that we see clearly how — despite their most vociferous assertions to the contrary — Ken Ham and his fellow createvangelists are not scientists. If they were, this donation would be an enormous opportunity for them, a chance to finally demonstrate what they’ve claimed for years: that the evidence really points to a recent creation, only the mean scientific establishment lies and says it doesn’t (you know, because of the conspiracy and whatever).

No longer would they be “expelled” from the scientific process, prohibited from doing anything but waiting for the crumbs that fall from real scientists’ tables, celebrating the research if it lines up with their pre-existing beliefs and vilifying it if it doesn’t.

No, they finally would have the means by which they could prove to the world that they were right all along: That dinosaur bones contain the spongy internal structure and well-preserved soft tissue that could not possibly have endured millions of years. That radiometric dating is absurdly unreliable and gives ages that are all over the map for the same specimen. That dinosaur bones contain high levels of radiocarbon (carbon-14), which they should not if they really were millions of years old and had not been contaminated. That, under intense pressure, a bone can be fossilized just like their Allosaurus in a matter of a few months. And so on.

They would conduct their tests and experiments in the public eye, with full transparency, under the most stringent standards of peer review, because the more people who witness their long-awaited vindication, the better. Their research would be sought by the world’s top journals and would earn them the most prestigious of scientific awards. They would, at last, upend the evolutionary paradigm they have always claimed to find so reprehensible and so poorly supported by the evidence.

But they won’t do any of that. Because they are not really scientists, and because to participate in such a public vetting would open them up to the possibility of the opposite result: That, like Harold Camping before them, the beliefs they’ve staked their livelihoods on might be shown to be wrong, wrong, wrong.

Instead of sacrificing their latest windfall to the cause which they claim to be devoted to (disproving evolution and the ancient age of the earth), they have made it into a highly publicized exhibit that is clearly aimed at doing nothing other than getting more people to buy tickets to their flagging museum. Which shows pretty clearly where their priorities truly lie…

You can read the complete text of Tyler Francke’s insightful post here.

Here’s what  the Creation Museum website has to say about the new dinosaur:

Answers in Genesis geologist Dr. Andrew Snelling says the new allosaur “stands out for a few major reasons. It was found with its bones arranged in their correct anatomical positions relative to each other, rather than in a scattered assortment of bones as is often the case. Also, all its neck and tail vertebrae and 97% of the skull were found. Lastly, the skull is much larger than the famous ‘Big Al’ dinosaur at the Museum of the Rockies in Montana.”

Dr. Snelling added that the intact skeleton of this allosaur is a testimony to an extremely rapid burial, which is confirmation of the global catastrophe of a Flood a few thousand years ago.

Ken Ham, president and founder of the Creation Museum and Answers in Genesis, stated that this skeleton, dubbed Ebenezer, “fulfills a dream I’ve had for quite some time. For decades I’ve walked through many leading secular museums, like the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., and have seen their impressive dinosaur skeletons, but they were used for evolution. Now we have one of that class for our museum.”

One blessing in getting the allosaur was that the Creation Museum did not seek it out. Michael Peroutka, one of the board members of the Foundation, says that this fossil is a testimony to the creative power of God and also lends evidence to the truth of a worldwide catastrophic flooding of the earth about 4,500 years ago as described in the Bible. In order to ensure that the display of the fossil represented this teaching, the Peroutka Foundation donated the fossil to the Creation Museum…

An article by Abby Ohlheiser on The Wire states:

…Despite all of the evidence to the contrary, the Creation Museum posits that Ebenezer died in the Great Flood, about 4,300 years ago, based on a couple of things: first, it was found in a layer of sediment that the museum believes was left by Noah’s flood. And second, Ebenezer was “rapidly” buried in a way that they believe is also consistent with the flood…

…Young Earth Creationist scientists are even more marginal in the scientific community, as you might expect. Despite this, Young Earth Creationist scientists are actually very good at what they do, which is more like the Jewish tradition of Midrash — elaboration on Biblical stories — than it is science.  At first, you’d assume that dinosaurs, which went extinct 66 million years ago, leaving behind a whole bunch of dateable fossil evidence, would be a problem for Young Earthers. You’d assume wrong.

John Whitmore, a professor of Geology at the Christian Cedarville University in Ohio, trekked with Snelling and a group of grad students to the site of Ebenezer’s death, in Colorado. They were, among other things, hoping to learn more about how he was buried. Everyone agrees that Ebenezer came from the Morrison Formation, a Jurassic-era rock unit that covers a large expanse of the western U.S. It dates back to about 150 million years, B.C. As the National Park Service’s Dinosaur National Monument explains, the area is rich with dinosaur fossils, particularly in its river beds, which are better at preserving skeletons. But Whitmore believes that the formation is consistent with what he would expect to see with a catastrophic event like Noah’s Flood. He told me:

“Secular geologists have said ‘this is a flood plain’ or “these are all river deposits, but it’s difficult to understand, from a secular, uniformitarian form of thinking, how a deposit like that could be made. I think a catastrophic origin for that formation and all the fossils in it is very reasonable.”

Specifically, he said, it’s consistent with what he’d expect to find following Noah’s flood.

The research methods (presented as science) behind the Creation Museum’s version of Ebenezer’s story, and every other story it tells, produce results that by definition cannot contradict the literal word of the Bible. Snelling described it to me as checking his discoveries against a “historical record,” based on the assumption that “God was there” when the dinosaurs roamed the Earth, and the the Bible is God’s literal account — transmitted through humans of “good character” — of what actually happened. As Creationist scientists like Snelling find more and more bits of evidence that “verify” what they already know to be true from the Bible, it reinforces the community’s own confidence in that theory. And, it seems, their work will always eventually verify what the Bible says. Although Snelling presents his work as science, he describes his methods as an inversion of how the scientific community works: scientists, he says, “use the present to inform our understanding of the past.” He, instead “uses the past to inform his understanding of the present.” It’s a theology, but with isotopes.

To wit, when I asked Snelling if he’s ever, in his entire career, encountered scientific evidence that contradicts the literal word of the Bible, Snelling said, “No.” He added: “but I’ve certainly at times had evidence, and I’m still working through evidence, that at first blush might seem problematical.” …

…So far, Snelling has been able to do this with nearly every problematic piece of evidence he’s encountered. Snelling gave me the example of meteorites, which don’t seem to fit with the work he’s done to attempt to disprove the methods used by scientists to date fossils and rocks. “Why is it, for example, that all the meteorites seem to give the same radioisotope signatures that are interpreted as the same age?” He told me. “What does that mean? Why is that the meteorites appear to be the same?” Scientists dated the age of the Earth as about 4.5 billion years old from a meteorite, so this is particularly problematic for Snelling’s theory, which presumes that the Earth was created 6,000 years ago.

Sure, Young Earth Creationists can always say something about why we haven’t found rocks on Earth that are as old as the Earth, but there are plenty of explanations for that. It would be better if Young Earthers could think up a reason to really doubt radioisotope dating. In fact, Young Earth Creationists have created an entire group of researchers devoted to figuring out another explanation for this problem, called RATE. One going theory, Snelling said, revolves around the idea that the chemical composition of the meteorites are indicative of the “original primordial material,” i.e. what God created on Day One…

You can read the complete article here.

Published: July 17, 2014 | Comments: 17

Which God?

greek gods

A commenter by the name of Deborah stated:

Third, you say you left the faith because of intellectual reasons. I appreciate that, because I am an intellectual myself. And being an intellectual, the idea that the world in all it’s amazing complexity just “happened by chance” is the most incredibly illogical thing I have ever heard. I have had many questions about the Bible, and I still do, but in this age of scientific enlightenment, where we know about DNA, it is unbelievable to me that an archaic idea like evolution is still being taught in the universities. Amazing.

It tough for me to know what to do with this statement because she says she is an intellectual and then rejects the vast majority of biological science.

Deborah does not state exactly which God she believes in, but I am going to assume it is the Christian God. Let’s suppose that Christians like Deborah are right, that the complexity of the universe shows that there must have been a creator. On what basis then do we conclude that that creator is the Christian God? Surely, not the book of Genesis. Taken literally, a person must believe the earth is 6,018 years old and was created in 6 literal 24 hour days. No one who understands science, archeology, and geology would make such an ignorant claim. I suppose that someone could be an old earth creationist, but this position has numerous theological problems, and is little more than an attempt by Christians to embrace science while hanging on to their belief in God. (see my recent post Genesis 1-3: Who Was God Talking To)

So, we are left then with Genesis being allegorical. Surely, we can’t gain any scientific knowledge from an allegory, right? How would we test this allegory to determine if it is true? We can’t. The greater problem with Genesis being allegorical is that it destroys the notion of original and sin and redemption, two cardinal doctrines of Christianity.

Over thousands of years, humans have created all sorts of Gods. Why are Christians so certain that their version of God is the creator God? (and there are many versions of God within Christianity) Perhaps one of the other Gods is creator or perhaps we are the creation of an alien race? What evidence is there for the exclusivity claimed by Christians for their God?

Bruce, all you  have to do is look at nature. Doesn’t it reveal to us that there is a God? Let me grant this point for a moment. Ok, nature reveals to me that there is a creator God. Again, which creator God? What evidence does nature give me to conclude that the creator God is the Christian God? At best, nature reveals a deistic God. The hands on, involved in the lives of his creation. God taught in the Bible? Where is the proof for such a God?

Christians wrongly assume that if there is any evidence that a God of some sort exists then it must be proof of their God. This is a huge jump in logic that lacks sufficient evidence. To date, no Christian has successfully produced the evidence necessary to get from A God to THE God. Apart from the Bible, there is no possible way, from nature itself, to prove that the Christian God is the creator of all.

Published: July 12, 2014 | Comments: 9

Genesis 1-3: Who Was God Talking To?

god creating

The night before October 23, 4004 BC, God, you know, THE God, the one and only God, decided to create the universe. For the next six literal 24 hours days, God created the sun, moon, stars, planets, earth, animals, insects, fish,and plant life. Oh, and I can’t forget God’s super-duper,special creation on day six:

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

Wait a minute…what’s this US thing all about? Do I detect polytheism? Whoever US are, and  there is no proof that this US is the trintarian God many Christians now worship, they created a human man and woman in their image. (though Genesis 2 says it was the LORD God that created Adam and Eve)

After creating Adam and Eve, the God’s closed up their creation shop and went on vacation. This October 23rd, we will celebrate the 6,018th anniversary of the first day of creation. Time for a new Hallmark card, yes? There is textual evidence for God creating Eve AFTER the six days of creation in the second creation story found in Genesis 2. This conflicts with the first creation story in Genesis 1, revealing that, from the very start, there is contradictions in the Bible.

Now I am being a bit silly here, but let me point out something very important. It is clear, based on Genesis 1:27, that there is more than one God involved in creating humans. Once we get to Genesis 3, we see that there is one God called LORD God. It is this LORD God that comes to the Garden of Eden to talk to Adam and Eve. It is this LORD God that tells Adam and Eve their punishment for eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. (an interesting point here is that Adam and Eve can see God and talk to him, yet the Bible says that no man has seen God at any time)

adam and eve

After Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit, their eyes were opened and both knew, for the first time, that the other was naked. While we don’t know how long the time span was between the creation of Adam and Eve and their act of disobedience, it’s hard to imagine that neither Adam or Eve paid any attention to their partners nakedness. Surely they were created with a sex drive. Sooooo, I don’t know about you…but I think I would notice that the only other living person, the person who snuggled up to me around the Camp Eden campfire, was naked.

The LORD God, being the prude that countless fundamentalist preachers have said he is, was quite disturbed over Adam and Eve’s nakedness. The LORD God, being a problem solving God, looked around for something to clothe them. He spotted a bear or maybe a buffalo or mountain lion, and in the first act of violence on earth, he killed the animals so he could make Adam and Eve clothes to wear. Using a process that humans to this day have not discovered, the LORD God killed the animal (s), dried and tanned the skin, and sewed it quicker than a Chinese sweatshop worker sewing a shirt for Walmart.

The LORD God then had a conference call with the other Gods. He said, look, remember those two humans we created? Remember the one rule we gave them? Yeah…those dumb asses picked fruit off the tree and ate it. Now they are like us, knowing good and evil. We need to do something immediately lest they eat from the Tree of Life. We don’t want them to do that, right? If they do, they will live forever, just like us. Can’t have humans living forever. What will undertakers do to make money?

So the LORD God, acting on behalf of the Gods, evicted Adam and Even from the Garden of Eden. Of course, they didn’t want to go. After all, they only had one good set of clothes. But, the LORD God was insistent and he drove them out of the Garden of Eden. To make sure that Adam and Eve could not eat from the Tree of Life, the LORD God put a flaming sword that turned every which way near the tree.

Reading Genesis 1-1 without importing trinitarian theology into it presents a very different creation story than what countless Evangelicals have been told. Go back to the text and read it for yourself. Is what I have written here plausible? On what basis do we say there was just one God? Is it not just as plausible to say that there were more than one God, a LORD God and other Gods that were perhaps subservient to him/her?

But Bruce, in the first five days of creation the Bible say God (singular) created. True, but since humans weren’t created until day 6, who was God talking to on the first five days when the Bible says, and God said? Was he talking to himself? Perhaps he was talking to the other Gods, just like he did in Genesis 1:26 and 3:22?

And I am just getting started. Go back to the text, take off your trinitarian, orthodox Christian glasses, and read it again. Is my story any less plausible than the one Evangelical children will be taught in Sunday school?

Published: July 10, 2014 | Comments: 14

Do Atheists Want to Turn America Into an Atheist Nation?

separation of church and state

I do not know of any atheists who are working to turn the United States into an atheist nation. I do know a number of atheists who are working very hard to stop theocrats from turning the United States into a Christian nation.

Most atheists want neutrality. Theocrats want authority, domination, and control. When it comes to government and public education, atheists want Christian dogma checked at the door. We want science taught without creationism and other mythical Bible stories being part of the curriculum. Christians are free to learn about creationism at home or at their houses of worship and they are free to home school their children or send them to a Christian school. However, when it comes to the public schools, evidence-based science is the only science that should be taught in the classroom.

We want oaths and prayers to God banished from the halls of Congress and any place secular government does its business. We want the first amendment and the separation of church and state strictly applied. We recognize that the United States is a secular state and we expect the government to function as a secular state.

Atheists promise to fight those who want to make the Christian God the God of the government and public school classroom.  We promise to fight those who try to import God into the public school classroom by teaching religious dogma as science. From Scopes to Dover and beyond, we expect public school children to be taught religion-free science. We expect public school classrooms to be free of sectarian prayers. Bible readings, and attempts to proselytize school children.

We promise to fight attempts to use government funds and programs to support churches and private religious schools. Our fight is direct and to the point…there is no place in America for state sanctioned, state funded religion.

Atheists respect the right of religious people to believe what they want. We wish Christians would give atheists the same courtesy. We have no desire to turn the United States into an atheist state and we sure as hell do not intend to let theocrats turn the United States into a Christian state. We know that history clearly shows us that when church and state are one people die and freedom is lost.

Notes

I speak generally about atheists and atheism. I know I can not speak for all atheists.

Published: July 7, 2014 | Comments: 13

Ken Ham Approves of Incest

ken ham cains wife

Not now of course, but young earth creationist Ken Ham thinks that incest before the giving of the Mosaic law was OK.

Ham writes:

…Perhaps no woman mentioned in Scripture has caused more confusion among Christians. Despite the fact that we have regularly addressed this issue in numerous books, articles, and presentations, the issue of Cain’s wife is still one of the most common questions we receive. Who was she, and why have so many believers struggled to give a biblical answer to this inquiry?

The simple answer is that Cain married his sister or another close relation, like a niece. This answer may sound revolting for those of us who grew up in societies that have attached a stigma to such an idea, but if we start from Scripture, the answer is clear.

1 Corinthians 15:45 tells us that Adam was “the first man.Genesis 3:20 states that Eve “was the mother of all the living” (NASB), and Genesis 5:4 reveals that Adam and Eve “had sons and daughters” (besides Cain, Abel, and Seth).

There were no other people on earth as some have claimed. God did not create other people groups from which Cain chose a wife, as we are all made of one blood (Acts 17:26). If He had made others, these people would not have been able to be saved from their sins, since only descendants of Adam can be saved—that’s why it was so important for Jesus to be Adam’s descendant.

Doesn’t the Bible forbid marriage between close relations? It does, but the laws against marrying family members were initially given as part of the Mosaic covenant, approximately 2,500 years after God created Adam and Eve. Due in part to genetic mistakes, these laws were necessary to help protect offspring from mutations shared by both parents.

But that’s incest! In today’s world, this would be incest. But originally there would have been no problem with it. Looking back through history, the closer we get to Adam and Eve, the fewer genetic mistakes people would have, so it would have been safer for close relatives to marry and have children.

Christians who have a problem with this answer need to remember that Noah’s grandchildren must have married brothers, sisters, or first cousins—there were no other people (1 Peter 3:20; Genesis 7:7). Abraham married his half-sister (Genesis 20:2, 12); Isaac married Rebekah, the daughter of his cousin Bethuel (Genesis 24:15, 67); and Jacob married his cousins Leah and Rachel. Clearly, the Bible does not forbid the marriage of close relatives until the time of Moses…

Ham’s argument is necessary if one reads and believes the Bible literally. In Ham’s world, the earth is 6,000 years old and evolution is the lie of Satan. However, Ham reveals that he is not really as much of a literalist as he claims to be.

Ham claims that Cain married his sister or niece. Where does the Bible say this? Where does the Bible say Cain married anyone? Perhaps people didn’t get married in Cain’s day? Perhaps Cain actually had sexual relations with his mother? Why doesn’t Ham mention this as a possibility? Ham repeats the same story when trying to explain where the children of Noah’s grandchildren came from.

According to Ham, a law against incest was not necessary until 2,500 years after God created Adam and Eve.  The reason?  “…genetic mistakes, these laws were necessary to help protect offspring from mutations shared by both parents.” Again, where does the inerrant, inspired, infallible Bible say this?

Besides, how is a human behavior not sinful for 2,500 years and then, all of a sudden, it is sinful? How can an immoral act be moral? Does this mean God changed his mind? Does this mean God permitted immorality so he could accomplish a greater good? I thought Jesus (God) was the same yesterday, today, and forever? Doesn’t Ham’s explanation lay waste to this “Biblical truth?”

SO many questions…for which Ken Ham has no answers…

HT: Tyler Francke, God of Evolution

 

Published: June 18, 2014 | Comments: 6

What Ken Ham Thinks the Atheist Agenda is

godless atheist

Based on a YouTube video of a few atheists talking about creationism, home school and Ken Ham, Ham has concluded:

A recent video of an atheist chat session on the internet is a must watch for all Christians! Every pastor, Christian leader, homeschooler, teenager, Christian parent, and, in fact, all Christians need to see this video chat featuring a number of very intolerant atheists (and some are hateful and angry). In fact, watch it at your Bible study, youth group meeting, home group, home, and so on—you will hear for yourself some of the best practical illustrations of many passages of Scripture come to life, including Romans 1, 2 Peter 3, and many other passages of Scripture that refer to people who oppose Christians. This can be an excellent practical Bible study for you.

The atheist video is one of the best I’ve seen to illustrate atheists exhibiting the following traits:

  • Intolerance and arrogance
  • Hatred of biblical Christians
  • Hatred of the Bible
  • Ignorance
  • Wanting to control education and capture your kids’ hearts and minds
  • Extremism
  • Fighting against freedom of religion
  • Wanting to close down or limit biblical, Christian homeschooling
  • Seeking to control what private organizations teach
  • Desiring to control what you teach at home
  • Claim Christians are scientifically ignorant but are themselves scientifically inept
  • Sanctimoniously determining morality for themselves
  • Attempting to shape the culture according to their anti-God beliefs

First, let me say I wish atheists/humanists/secularists would STOP putting out videos like the one mentioned by Ham. The video is poorly done, quite embarrassing, and certainly should not be taken as representative of how all or many atheists/humanists/secularists think.

Second, Ham is an expert at ginning-up support for his conspiratorial ideas about atheists/humanists/secularists. It is NOT in our best interest to give him things that he can easily manipulate to gain his desired objective.

Now to Ham’s delineation of what he thinks the atheist agenda is. My response is indented and in italics.(it may not appear this way on some mobile devices)

Intolerance and arrogance

Intolerance and arrogance are human traits and not specific to any group. There are lots of intolerant, arrogant Christians, Ham included.

Besides, intolerance has its place. We should be intolerant of beliefs that deliberately promote ignorance, beliefs like the earth is 6,014 years old and that global warming is a myth.

Hatred of biblical Christians

I am sure there are atheists who hate Christians. However, most atheists do not hate Christians. They hate their beliefs. They hate their attempts to promote ignorance. They hate their attempt to hijack the U.S. government and turn our secular state into a theocracy.

Hatred of the Bible

Hate the Bible? Really?  Who in their right mind hates a book, an inanimate object? I HATE you, Moby Dick!  This is a silly statement.

What we DO hate is what Christians DO with the Bible,and that’s trying to force everyone to worship their God and obey its commands.

Ignorance

Ignorance of what? The Bible? Not a chance. I may be ignorant of many things, but ignorance of the Bible is not one of them.  Ham mistakes disagreement for ignorance. He is also oblivious of the fact that many of us were raised in church and know the Bible inside and out.  We are anything BUT ignorant.

Wanting to control education and capture your kids’ hearts and minds

If Ham is talking about public schools then the answer is yes. Public schools are secular, tax-supported institutions.  People like Ham, with his ignorant, unscientific beliefs, have no business being anywhere near the public schools. If parents want to school their children in scientific ignorance they are free to home school them or send them to a private Christian school.

Extremism

What’s extremism? In Ken Ham’s world, extremism is anything that differs from his beliefs.

Besides, whose beliefs are extreme? Those who follow the path of science or those who get their science and history from an ancient text written by unknown authors thousands of years ago?

Fighting against freedom of religion

Wrong, Wrong, Wrong.

We are fighting against those who want to establish a theocracy. We are fighting against those who say the separation of church and state is a myth. Ham and all religious people are free to worship God as they wish as long as they stay on their side of the wall of separation of church and state. Want to drink poison and handle snakes as Mark 16 commands? By all means, go ahead. But, poison drinking, snake handling beliefs have no place in public schools or in official government policy.

Wanting to close down or limit biblical, Christian homeschooling

Limit, yes. Close down, no.

Home school teachers should be competent and society has a right to expect that every child receives a quality, comprehensive education. If home schoolers are willing to do this, I have no problem with home schooling.

A number of states need to improve their home schooling and non-chartered private school laws. As it stands now, there is way too much latitude for parents and schools to give their children a poor, substandard education.

Seeking to control what private organizations teach

Again, we all have a vested interest in what children are taught. Our future depends on them receiving a quality, comprehensive education.

If he is talking about the Home School Convention, Answers in Genesis, or the Creation Museum, then, yes, they should be free to teach whatever they want as long as tax money is not being used to support these ignorant “teaching” endeavors.

Desiring to control what you teach at home

See above. Ham has repeated this point three times.

Claim Christians are scientifically ignorant but are themselves scientifically inept

No, we don’t say Christians are scientifically ignorant. We DO say that young earth creationists are scientifically ignorant.

Oh wait, Ham says young earth creationism is NOT an article of faith, BUT, he questions the “faith” of Christians who embrace evolution. There’s the intolerant Ken we all love.

Sanctimoniously determining morality for themselves

Duh, who else is going to determine what my morals are but me?

Ham wants everyone to have his morals because he got his morals directly from God.

If Christians all get their morals from God, why is it so many of them have differing moral views?

Attempting to shape the culture according to their anti-God beliefs

Guilty as charged with one caveat. I am trying to shape our culture with my humanistic beliefs not my one point atheist belief.

You can check out the video in question here.

Published: May 27, 2014 | Comments: 6

Is Ken Ham Sincere?

ken hamI have been asked many times if I think Ken Ham is a sincere Christian. It would make things easier if Ken Ham was a money-grubbing Elmer Gantry. We could then dismiss him as a con-artist and shake our head at those who are conned by him.  However, I don’t think Ken Ham is a 21st century Gantry-like con-artist.

I have no doubt that Ken Ham is a sincere, devoted follower of Jesus Christ just like many of us were at one time. I am sure that we would have been friends if we had known each other in my fundamentalist days. Everything I have read written by Ham is consistent with his fundamentalist belief system.

Now, we may rightly think Ham’s beliefs are ignorant and superstitious, but millions of people hold to similar beliefs, and, we should at least acknowledge that they are sincere believers. Before we can understand Ken Ham we must first understand his belief system. A lot of atheists and evolutionists fail to do this and foolishly attack Ken Ham the person rather than Ken Ham’s beliefs.

Ken Ham is a true-blue fundamentalist and part of his religious DNA is the belief that the world will become more evil the closer we get to the rapture and that there are Satanic forces at work trying to destroy ‘”Biblical” Christianity. Anyone who has been a part of the Evangelical church for any length of time knows how this kind of paranoid thinking permeates Evangelicalism. Atheism is on the rise in the West and Ham sees this as Satan attacking “Biblical” Christianity.  He fears that if he, along with his followers, don’t fight the atheist horde, that America will be destroyed.  I have no doubt he sincerely believes these things.

Everything Ham does is an attempt to promote “Biblical” Christianity and turn back the unrelenting attack of Satan. Yes, Ham makes a good living off his work and his efforts to promote young earth creationism and “Biblical” Christianity attracts millions of dollars in fees and donations. But, I suspect that Ham would still be an evangelist for young earth creationism and “Biblical Christianity” even if he wasn’t financially remunerated.

I remember when I used to think like Ken Ham. It was never about the money. My goal was to preach the good news of the gospel to as many people as possible. I was willing to do without and live in poverty if necessary to accomplish this goal. It was all about being obedient to Christ and being a faithful messenger to a lost and dying world.

When we attack Ken Ham the person we only make ourselves look bad. We need to focus on his beliefs and we need to challenge his assertions. I may hate what Ken Ham believes and I may think those beliefs promote ignorance, but, if my objective is to counter his beliefs, I must focus on his beliefs rather than his person. (even when it is very hard to do so) I must, as an atheist, be a better man than many of the Fundamentalist Christians who personally attack me in the comment section of this blog and in the local newspaper.

To put it in religious parlance, I must be a good witness and I must always remember that people are going to judge me by the words I say and write. If I personally attack someone, I know that some readers will not hear what I have to say. And, I don’t blame them. (and yes, I am aware that many Christians confuse a critique of their beliefs with a personal attack.)

Kerry left a comment that I think sums up well what I am trying to say:

Name calling does nothing to advance the understanding between world views. I didn’t do it as a believer and I don’t do it as a non-believer in Christianity. I do, from time to time, rework the pithy little sayings so many Christians use, such as; “Love the sinner but hate the sin” which I change to “Love the believer but hate the belief.” For the various beatitudes that get quoted, I usually quote from Confucius or Buddha which sound the same but are a little bit different. They of course do not notice until I point it out to them and educate them on the fact that these sayings are some 600 years before God gave them to the Jews. There are ways to make the point about the facts we as atheists have embraced without doing it in a manner that closes off all minds and debate.

Published: May 27, 2014 | Comments: 9

The Creationist COSMOS

Ever wonder what a Creationist COSMOS would look like? Perhaps it would look like this:

Published: April 15, 2014 | Comments: 3