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Ken Ham, Answers in Genesis, Dinosaurs, and the SIN of Smoking

Snark ahead.

Two years ago, our youngest son moved out, and he left behind a box of trading cards for our grandson. He had hundreds of trading cards, including some from Answers in Genesis. I am not sure how old these card are, but I suspect they are at least 15 years old. I did not know these cards were in the box, and my oldest son found them when he was going through the collection with our grandson.  We had a lot of fun with these cards, a reminder of what we once believed.  I thought you might enjoy the good science these cards teach, so I scanned a couple of them just for you!

ken ham propaganda

ken ham propaganda 2

I love the logic of this card. Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis are committed to a Fundamentalist, literalist interpretation of the Bible, except when it not convenient to do so. Since the inerrant, infallible, inspired creationist science textbook, AKA the Bible, doesn’t mention dinosaurs, and Ham and Co. know dinosaurs existed at one time, it is imperative that one of the animals mentioned in the Bible be a dinosaur. Kids love dinosaurs and  have lots of questions about them. Using his magic Bible word-decoder ring, Ham determined that the behemoth in the book of Job is actually a dinosaur and that dragons are also dinosaurs.

ken ham propaganda 3

ken ham propaganda 4

I found this card interesting for a different reason. The card states emphatically that the Leviathan mentioned in the book of Job is actually a sea monster. No, actually it is a Leviathan, right? We must not tamper with the inerrant, infallible, inspired creationist science textbook, AKA the Bible. But again, when a point needs to be made, Ham and Co. have no problem ignoring the hermeneutic they demand all other Christians use.

Forty years ago, I heard a sermon on Job 41:19-21, but it wasn’t about a sea monster. Oh no, this IFB preacher was quite novel and his sermon showed that you can make the Bible say almost anything. The text says:

Out of his mouth go burning lamps, and sparks of fire leap out. Out of his nostrils goeth smoke, as out of a seething pot or caldron. His breath kindleth coals, and a flame goeth out of his mouth.

Are you ready for it? Drum roll, please! According to this preacher, these verses are about SMOKING!  Surely you can see it:

  • Out of his mouth go burning lamps (the burning cigarette in the mouth)
  • Out of his nostrils goeth smoke
  • His breath smells bad

This is definite proof that smoking is a sin.

And now let us go to a Sunday service at Bible Baptist Church. It is manipulation time, time for the altar call:

Every head bowed, every eye closed. Is God convicting you of the sin of smoking? If so, with no one but God and me looking, please raise your hand so I can pray for you.

I see that hand, and that hand. Praise Jesus.

Dear baby Lord Jesus, I pray right now for those who have admitted they are sinful smokers. Please forgive them of their sin and give them the victory over Marlboro. And while you are at it Lord…please help them to see that the money they are saving by not buying cigarettes can be put in the offering plate so the church can continue to preach the gospel of no smoking.

In the name above all names, the Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.



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    There was a “Far Side” cartoon that was captioned “The real reason the dinosaurs went extinct.” The picture was a T. rex and two other dinosaurs dressed in 50’s tough guy leather jackets and smoking cigarettes. And that is way scienceier than anything Ken Hamm has written.


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      lol, I just thought the same, was about to say so and saw your comment 🙂

      Perhaps smoking killed them and that’s why they went extinct. A fire-breathing seamonster is also a bit troubling: wouldn’t all that water make things rather difficult?

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    Karen the rock whisperer

    So, why is smoking a sin in the Evangelical world? Obviously it isn’t good for you or the people around you, but I suspect that has very little to do with the “sin” part.

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      Bruce Gerencser

      Here’s the line I heard…smoking won’t send you to hell, it will just make you smell like you’ve been there. 🙂

      I did know several preachers who believed no true Christian would smoke. The ironic thing is one of the preachers was 100# overweight. Evidently, the sin of SMOKING will send you to hell, but not the sin of GLUTTONY.

      Ive concluded, that for all their talk of grace, most Evangelicals believe that salvation is by believing the right things and behaving according to a list of rules.

      When I was a teenager I was at my friend Billy’s house. He was Catholic and it was time to go to Mass. Billy and I wanted to go play baseball so he told his Mom he wasn’t going to Mass. I can still remember her shrill school teacher voice, BILLY YOU ARE GOING TO HELL IF YOU DON’T COME WITH US. Billy shrugged his shoulders and we walked out the door. Evangelicals love stories like this. See, those fish eaters believe in salvation by works!! And so do Evangelicals…just a different set of things that will land a person in hell.

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        It has long bothered me that so many fundigelicals are obssessed with ‘sexual sins’. Gluttony is never mentioned. I once read that there is enough food in the world to feed all if it were fairly distributed. Instead experts all agree we have an obesity epidemic in the west and it is obscene to me that most of us have far too much food whilst a a lot of the world starves. I’d love to see one of these ranting preachers denounce gluttony with the passion they normally use against LGBT folk!

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    Tyler Copper

    Another blog from a disgruntled former…fill in the blank. Yawn. No substance, just sob stories and “Look at how they hurt me!”. Every sector of society and all industries, in both non-profit or for profit has to deal with them. These type of blogs attract other disgruntled, weak individuals that share the same immature belief that the world owes them something. Do the world a favor, get over your past and move on.

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      Bruce Gerencser

      Yet, here you are . . . You read dozens of posts on this site. Maybe something is missing in your life or you have questions, and you found my writing helpful. Or you could just be another Christian asshole who traverses the Internet looking for unbelievers to attack with insults and character assassinations. Which are you, Tyler?

      Thousands of people read this blog, many of whom are Christians. Not only do you insult me, you insult your fellow believers. What does the Bible say about that, Tyler?

      I am doing the world a favor by writing, and I’m reaching lots of people in the process. How many souls have you personally won to Jesus in the last year, Tyler? I’m betting on zero. I, on the other hand, continue to win “souls” with the gospel of skepticism and reason.

      What is it you really hate, Tyler? The fact that I’m willing to tell my story; that it resonates with people; and people like you can’t stop me from doing so.? Keeping praying, Tyler. You need to be reminded that there is no God, and I need the amusement.

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      There are Christians in Africa who believe in non violence and allow themselves to be killed in the name of their faith. There are Christian parents in Africa who lose their children to drugs gangs and they feed the very men who killed their child in the name of Jesus. As the Bible says, they are a peculiar people, obsessed with good works. And how do you represent your faith? With mean vindictive comments on a blog. For shame the example you set and similar, I have to say from experience, mainly Western style, of Christ representatives.

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      ... Zoe ~

      Oh sweetie pie. You seem nice. Listen, I think you must be feeling disgruntled about your own immature belief. Seems you think we owe you something. Move on dear. Move on. May you find the peace you were searching for when you arrived here.

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Bruce Gerencser