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Tag: Ark Encounter

Creationist Ken Ham Needs to Buy a Dictionary

Repost from 2015. Edited, updated, and corrected.

Ken Ham, CEO of Answers in Genesis, the Creation Museum, and Ark Encounter is ever on the watchtower looking for a conspiracy he can gin up to rouse the faithful. Several years ago, Ham wrote that public school students were being taught to worship the sun. Here’s what he said:

Imagine if public school students in their science classes were encouraged to worship the sun. And yet this is happening! But how do they get away with it? Well, they just call worshipping the sun “science,” and then claim they can teach this “science” in the public schools!

You see, the following statement is allowed to be made (and is being made in a number of instances) to public school science students:

Our ancestors worshipped the sun. They were far from foolish. It makes good sense to revere the sun and stars because we are their children. The silicon in the rocks, the oxygen in the air, the carbon in our DNA, the iron in our skyscrapers, the silver in our jewelry—were all made in stars, billions of years ago. Our planet, our society, and we ourselves are stardust.

This statement was made by Neil deGrasse Tyson in the new Cosmos series. Evolutionists are encouraging teachers to use this series in public school classrooms.

revere

Evidently, Ham doesn’t know what the word revere means. While the word “worship” can be thought of as reverence, it is almost always used in a religious sense. Neil deGrasse Tyson is NOT using the word “revere” in a religious sense. Of course, Ham denies this because he believes atheism/humanism/secularism is a religion. Ham needs to buy himself a dictionary so he can learn what words such as “worship” and “revere” actually mean. Will he do so? Of course not. The coffers at Ham’s monuments to ignorance are running low. He needs to attract people to his creationist amusement park to keep his “ministry” afloat. Scaring Evangelicals is a surefire way to get them to Kentucky to get their fears allayed. For $44.99 a person, Christians can learn the “truth” about sun worship, and every other lie Ham peddles from atop of his creationist empire.

Bruce Gerencser, 63, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 42 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen awesome grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist. For more information about Bruce, please read the About page.

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Ark Encounter TV Ad Hides Genocide Behind Cute Animal Characters

ark encounter

Ken Ham and his mighty band of young-earth creationists at the Ark Encounter have developed a plan to attract children to their monument to ignorance in Williamstown, Kentucky. The Ark Encounter is an Evangelical amusement park geared towards reinforcing creationist dogma for adults and indoctrinating children in the myth of Noah’s Ark. Prior generations of Evangelicals had only the Bible as their guide. Today, creationists have the Creation Museum and the Ark Encounter, both of which give visual life to the first nine chapters of the book of Genesis.

Ham knows that financial ruin awaits him unless he finds new ways to attract and entertain fellow young-earth creationists. This year, Ham plans to admit children free to the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum. While dutiful Evangelical parents — who know how important it is to indoctrinate children when they are young — will insist that their children go with them to visit both facilities, I am sure they are grateful for Ham adding new attractions to his been-there-done-that amusement park. Children bore easily, so providing new and exciting things for them to see and do will likely help Evangelical parents who have to deal with children who say, “Really, Dad, the Ark Encounter AGAIN? Can’t we go to Cedar Point or King’s Island this year?”

What, you ask, is Ham doing to attract children to the Ark Encounter? In a recent Answers in Genesis news story titled, Bring the Kids and Think Bigger!, Ham wrote:

I believe you’ll be amazed, thrilled, and astounded—and will praise the Lord for what he is doing in this cutting-edge ministry. A hint: think Paddington Bear, giraffes, children, and a bathtub.

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Over the years, many Christian leaders have told me that the quality of the Creation Museum and its exhibits has set a very high bar for the Christian world. Many reporters have told me that because the museum is a Christian facility, they expected it to be “cheesy”—they recognized that the Christian world is not known for having a Disney-like quality.

We’ve also had dozens of visits from Christian organizations who were (or are) building Christian facilities, and they tell us they hope to attain the same quality.

When the Ark Encounter opened in 2016, people weren’t surprised at the level of excellence they experienced at the Ark, having seen what was done at the Creation Museum.

Many Christians told me it was so refreshing for them to visit Christian facilities of such high quality—particularly because we are so bold about biblical authority, the gospel, and a truly Christian worldview.

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Now, it’s one thing to build such facilities, but people need to be informed they exist. World-class attractions like Disney and Universal Studios spend hundreds of millions of dollars in marketing and promotion. We, too, recognize that we need to do our best to market the Creation Museum and Ark so that people will know they exist, and then we need them to come and experience the proclamation of the truth of God’s Word and the gospel in an engaging way!

Before the Creation Museum opened, the Lord led us to a marketing agency, Joseph David Advertising (JDA—www.jdaworldwide.com/). Its Christian ownership wanted to work with us to develop marketing ideas that would be equal to or better than what the secular world does.

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Over the years, their experts have worked tirelessly with us to produce award-winning billboards, television advertisements, and other marketing tools. Many people have commented on how professional this marketing effort has been and how it really captured their attention. Many of you may have seen our ads on the Fox News Channel and many other networks.

We have also conducted a lot of market research through JDA to find out how we can best reach those likely to visit the Creation Museum and Ark. Through the help of JDA’s creativity and resources, we have been able to market our attractions in powerful and effective ways.

A few months ago, we met with JDA’s marketing team and discussed how we were going to market the Ark and Creation Museum for 2020. We also discussed the incredible war against children that is happening in our culture in regard to abortion, forcing the LGBTQ worldview on kids in schools, the war on the family, increasing talk about allowing pedophilia, and so on.

What’s happening is so evil. It motivated us to come up with a plan to help reach more kids by allowing all children 10 years old and under into our attractions for free. Yes, that offer began January 1, 2020. We’ve actually restructured the ticket pricing.

Our marketing agents then came up with an idea that we thought was beyond our reach financially. But they worked out a way for this to happen—so remarkable!

You may have seen the family movie featuring the character Paddington Bear. Now, while this bear is an animated creature, the animation is done so well that it looks real as the bear interacts in the real world with real people!

Then we asked ourselves, “What animal is most associated with the Ark?” And of course, it was the giraffe! That’s because most modern depictions of Noah’s Ark in children’s books (not those from AiG, of course!) have Noah’s Ark pictured as a sort of overloaded bathtub with giraffes sticking their necks out the top!

Put all this together for a 30-second television advertisement with the same quality as the Paddington movie, but with giraffes—four of them: mom, dad, and the two kids—plus a bathtub ark and a visit to our true-to-the-Bible Ark, while promoting that kids go free. Combine that with a quaint story line, and there you have it: an extremely high quality, captivating, and stunning television ad that will market the Ark Encounter and free admission for children in 2020.

What Mickey Mouse and other characters are to Disney, these giraffes (named George, Gloria, Gracie, and Junior) will be to the Ark Encounter. I believe kids will fall in love with the giraffe kids, Gracie and Junior.

When I saw the first draft of this TV ad, I immediately thought of Super Bowl quality. In fact, I think it is better than many Super Bowl ads I’ve seen. Personally, I think the ad would win an award if played during the Super Bowl! But for $5.6 million dollars to run just one 30-second Super Bowl commercial, we certainly couldn’t do that. But this high-quality TV ad will be shown on many channels and across our social media.

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JDA partnered with several Hollywood studios to create the giraffe characters we’ll all see on TV soon. These specialized studios are the same as those behind the animation in films like The Avengers, Wonder Woman, and Mary Poppins, and also popular TV shows like Star Trek and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. In fact, the VFX supervisor hired to produce our characters was the former Pixar supervisor who oversaw the creation of the character Jessie in Toy Story 2.

Since the TV commercial was shot in the same live-action style as Paddington (i.e., “animation over film”), JDA partnered with Whitestone Motion Pictures from Atlanta to build a custom set (see at right) and film the giraffe family in their living room. As complicated as the animation was to create, plus shooting blank frames 18 feet in the air in a custom-built 25-foot-tall living room designed for giraffes, it was nothing short of spectacular.

All in all, the talent JDA was able to bring to the table on our ministry’s behalf was outstanding. I think you’ll agree once you see the spot!

So there ya have it, Ham is producing cute promo spots he hopes will spur children to say to their parents, “Mommy and Daddy, can we go to the Ark Encounter?”

What follows is one of the new Ark Encounter TV ads. It’s 30 seconds long. I hope you will take the time to watch it.

Video Link

Cute TV ad, which is sure to speak to children everywhere. What’s missing, of course, is, to quote Paul Harvey, “the rest of the story.” Ham wants to suck children in with adorable animated animal figures, all the while hiding the fact that the story of Noah’s Flood is really about an angry, vengeful God who drowned millions and millions of men, women, teenagers, children, babies, fetuses, and innocent animals.

Why did the Christian God commit genocide? Why did God drown millions of animals? Genesis 6:1-7 says:

 And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.

According to the aforementioned text, God drowned everyone because the “wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”  In particular, “the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them.” This odd passage of Scripture suggests that fallen angels were having sex with women, producing hybrid devil children. (And yes, I am aware of other interpretations.) Talk about a made for HBO storyline!

Why not make a TV ad that shows God drowning everyone? Maybe put a big lifesaver on the side of the ark, with a message imprinted for those who are drawing their last breaths, “Smile, God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.” How about an ad more geared towards Evangelical adults? You know, one with a Game of Thrones-like sex twist; one that shows fallen angels seducing women or righteous Noah getting drunk and exposing himself to his son Ham? (Genesis 9) Why not tell the whole story instead of hiding behind cute animated giraffes? Surely, Evangelical children deserve the truth.

About Bruce Gerencser

Bruce Gerencser, 62, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 41 years. He and his wife have six grown children and twelve grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist. For more information about Bruce, please read the About page.

Are you on Social Media? Follow Bruce on Facebook and Twitter.

Thank you for reading this post. Please share your thoughts in the comment section. If you are a first-time commenter, please read the commenting policy before wowing readers with your words. All first-time comments are moderated. If you would like to contact Bruce directly, please use the contact form to do so.

Donations are always appreciated. Donations on a monthly basis can be made through Patreon. One-time donations can be made through PayPal.

Ark Encounter Asks Twitter Followers What They Learned While Visiting Ken Ham’s Monument to Ignorance

ken ham ark encounter

Ken “Hambo” Ham is the CEO of  Answers in Genesis, the Creation Museum, and the Ark Encounter — a life-size “replica” of Noah’s Ark.  Last week, whoever handles the Twitter feed for Ark Encounter asked “What is something you learned at Ark Encounter?” Needless to say, many of the responses were hilarious. Enjoy!

  • I’d love to visit the Ark Encounter to see how a gullible fellow Aussie has duped so many gullible Americans with creation myths that are so easily debunked in this enlightened era.
  • That Noah used a lot of new technological gadgets to build it.
  • I’ve learned that as countless religious people leave their faith and while atheism swells in ranks it’s leaving the most gullible and mentally challenged behind. Therefore, the religious are becoming increasingly insane and that explains why they also support grifter Trump.
  • That people who believe this either: 1) haven’t read the right books/attended the right classes 2) aren’t clever enough to have understood them 3) liars. Where Ken Ham is concerned, I’m hesitating between 2 or 3? On balance I’ll go with 3.
  • That someone stole the Epic of Gilgamesh and built it in Kentucky.
  • That Noah must’ve invented the rivet gun.
  • That creationists are very good at not understanding things when their salary depends on them not understanding.
  • The marsupials had one helluva journey home.
  • So I’m supposed to suspend logic and believe that Noah and his family built the ark with only a few days notice but it took you about 4yrs with over 1000 workers something resembling the ark but doesn’t even float? GTFO!
  • That blindly denying observation and reason, and forging ahead with conclusion first, and making up supporting ideas afterwards is a bass-ackwards approach for a world view.
  • That an ark built to the specifications in the bible isn’t seaworthy and can’t house 2 of every creature on Earth.
  • The price of gullibility is $42 per adult plus parking.
  • Yup, the 600 year old floating zoo keeper is at it again. Now he and his 500 year old sons, Mo Larry and Curly, are master ship builders and loggers pulling massive trees out of the DESERT And we wonder why real science gets shelved.
  • Aww… “Noah’s Preformed Laminated Composite Structures,” “Noah’s Tyvek,” and “Noah’s Hydraulic Noah-Lifters” r all pretty cool. But… I was SO hoping to find a pic of Noah’s hard-hat. Sad, now.
  • There is a wealth of tax money that could be going to children’s educations at public schools and also to maintaining national infrastructure, helping people to succeed and be safe, instead of just going into the coffers of groups who don’t actually produce anything.
  • That the Flintstones was a documentary.
  • That instead of hiring a 900-year-old man and his small family, you required cranes, concrete pylons, and at least a 1,000 person workforce, not to mention tax exemptions to build half a boat incapable of carrying a fraction of the world’s species.
  • That willful ignorance is a helluva drug.
  • That what Noah supposedly managed with wood and bronze needed steel rebar, insulation, cranes, and composite to (poorly) replicate.
  • I learned the god you worship is a narcissistic, pathological liar and murderous vindictive thug who committed specicide, and who is responsible for creating Satan, sin, and all other manners of evil but then blames everyone else for it.
  • That koala bears and kangaroos and wallabys had to swim all the way across the Indian Ocean and back.
  • Some ya-hoo spent a bunch of money, including some taxpayer money, to construct a park in an attempt to convince people that dinosaurs and people were on earth during the same time period, and that the planet is less than 10,000 years old. The dumbing down of America in earnest.
  • That the promised economic benefits to the surrounding area were all a sham. That millions of dollars of taxpayer money was stolen to construct a religious idol packed with blatant falsities that are an affront to science passed off as truth. But at least the zoo’s ok, right?
  • That that boat would be super sweet at Burning Man.
  • That god is an idiot who killed every baby, toddler, child on earth in a snit-fit only to have humans repopulate and return to sinning. Couldn’t see that coming, oh omniscient one?!?!
  • That dinosaurs can be domesticated.
  • That religious grifters are the same everywhere. Apply for tax exemption, get local & state taxpayers to help fund the con, privatize profits, socialize debt, max out the credit, file bankruptcy, and fly away with the cash. Typical con, religious version.
  • I learned that the model, which you put together using heavy machinery, modern refined resourced, pneumatic nail guns and screws, and thousands man hours, would have taken 4 primitive men several thousand years to complete using simple stone or bronze tools.
  • That some people still celebrate ignorance and religious delusions. We as humans have moved so much further ahead than this. This entire place is a wasteful, hopeless, and meaningless, struggle against reality.
  • That the only thing more full of shit than a floating zoo after 40 days and nights are the people that bilked the taxpayers out of money for this monstrosity?
  • I learned that some people watched Evan Almighty and took it way too seriously.
  • The irony of the Ark Encounter buses being powered by fossil fuels made from the remains of dead zooplankton and algae millions of yrs older that these dimwits claim the universe is.
  • I learned that we are morally justified by God to make the descendants of Canaan our slaves for all eternity.
  • I learned that the ark couldn’t possibly hold two of every of animal. And had no way to clean, maintain animal health, and maintain a fresh supply of water for the animals. Oh and all the fresh water fish died in salt water.
  • That there were kangaroos in the Middle East.

Roadside America Reviews Ken Ham’s Ark Encounter

ark encounter christmas

We’ve visited other Creationist attractions — each has its own unique charm — but none match the scale and sophistication of Kentucky’s Ark Encounter. Regardless of your religious beliefs (and in spite of a biblically proportioned admission and parking fee [$40 per ticket plus $10 parking]) the Ark is an attraction that should be visited — if only because it’s unlikely that you’ll ever visit anything else like it.

Built at a reported cost of $91 million, opened to the public in July 2016, the Ark is the brainchild of Answers in Genesis, the same group that opened the Creation Museum in 2007. Billed as “The Largest Timber-Frame Structure in the World” and “a modern engineering marvel,” the Ark contains 3.3 million board-feet of lumber and weighs more than two thousand tons. Answers in Genesis CEO Ken Ham claims that it was built to scriptural specs, 510 feet long and as tall as a seven-story building — an exact replica of Noah’s enormous wooden boat.

The purpose of the Ark, according to Ham, is to fuel the faith of his fellow Bible literalists and to reach people who would otherwise avoid a Creationist attraction. Co-founder Mike Zovath has stressed the Ark’s broad appeal, saying that he hopes it becomes a bucket-list roadside wonder, “like seeing the biggest ball of twine.”

The Ark itself is dimly lit, a windowless wooden labyrinth whose brown interior is enlivened with over 100 bays of colorful, professionally-designed exhibits. As you walk up a ramp into the Ark’s belly you’re greeted by the recorded sounds of a thunderstorm and caged animals. There are no live animals on this Ark, only lifelike replicas, including a surprising number of juvenile dinosaurs. These creatures are a big part of the appeal of Ark Encounter, especially for children. The attraction could have simplified its narrative by wiping out the dinosaurs in the Flood, but then it wouldn’t have had any dinosaurs for visitors to see. Answers in Genesis speculates that the dinosaurs’ later extinction — after all the trouble taken to save them — was not a miscalculation by God, but because Noah’s descendants ate them.

Ark Encounter features a number of exhibits showcasing the wickedness that made God decide to drown everyone on the planet (The “Help Me Understand” display explains that God created humankind, so He’s within His rights to kill everybody whenever He wants to). These detailed glimpses of the sinful pre-Flood world are the most memorable part of the attraction. One miniature diorama shows people murdered in an arena by a human giant and a toothy dinosaur with gilded horns. Another elaborate tableau depicts babies being delivered into the belly furnace of a golden snake god.

Poster-size illustrations with titles such as “Abuse of Creation” and “Descent into Darkness” show poor, defenseless dinosaurs being senselessly slaughtered by depraved humans, and crowds of smug, shirtless revelers with tattoos and tambourines — time-honored visual shorthand for every parent’s nightmare of party debauchery.

If you’re wondering how you missed the part in the Bible that chronicled the age of dinosaurs as gladiators… you didn’t. A sign explains that Ark Encounter had to invent these details because the Bible doesn’t mention any of them. Nevertheless, visitors are assured, the pre-Flood world “was thoroughly infested with violence, idolatry, and every imaginable form of immorality.”

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An attraction so invested in its own feasibility can tolerate no perceived insults. This is stressed in the “Fairy Tale Ark” exhibit, which attacks children’s books (most of them Christian) for practicing the “7 D’s of Deception,” including “Discrediting the Truth” and “Deceptively Cute.” Ark Encounter makes clear that there’s nothing cuddly about the Earth’s greatest premeditated mass slaughter, although there is one bright spot. Answers in Genesis CEO Ken Ham has said that his Ark, despite appearances, is not built to float, because God promised He would never flood the Earth again.

Roadside America review of the Ark Encounter

Ark Encounter: Ken Ham’s Monument to Ignorance Bigger Than Imagination

Several weeks ago, Polly and I spent a few days vacationing in Kentucky.  We stayed at the Boone Tavern Hotel in Berea. On one of the tables in the main hotel lobby I found a 2017 Kentucky Travel Guide. On the back of the guide was a full-sized advertisement for young earth creationist Ken Ham’s Ark Encounter — a life-sized re-creation of the fictional Noah’s ark found in the Bible. There was also a one-sixth sized ad on the front cover.

Here’s the full-sized ad that was on the back cover:

ark encounter

Anyone want to take a stab at what “Bigger Than Imagination” is supposed to mean?  Perhaps Ham is suggesting that it requires a boat load of imagination to believe that Noah, his wife, sons, and daughters-in-law built a ginormous wooden boat in the middle of the desert; that this boat, filled with animals, floated for a year on a sea that engulfed the entire earth, killing all life save Noah, his family, and the animals on the Ark. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have enough imagination to believe such a fairy-tale.

How about you? What do you think Ken Ham meant with the advertising slogan: “Bigger Than Imagination.” Use your imagination in the comment section.

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire: Ken Ham Lies About Secularists Wanting to ‘Ban’ Christianity

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Just today, Ken Ham, the CEO of Answers in Genesis, released another screed about the supposed outlawing of Christianity by secularists. Ham wrote:

Little by little, the secularists have been outlawing Christianity from the culture. Through misinformation, bullying, and intimidation, they have been succeeding. And because so many Christians have been so secularized by the public education system, they have largely not put up a fight.

And if this trend keeps happening, do you want a picture of where America is headed in the future? Just look at England.
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Warning! What is happening in the United States has already happened in Britain. That’s where America is heading.

I would say the decline is happening for the same basic reason: God’s people didn’t stand on God’s Word from its beginning. In this era, the compromise between evolution/millions of years and Genesis began in England and spread around the world. Really, what’s happened to the church throughout England is actually the outworking of a church that has compromised God’s Word with man’s fallible ideas. Furthermore, the church has largely handed over the education of generations to the state.

This same compromise is rife in the church in the United States. At the same time, generations of children in America have been educated in schools that have increasingly outlawed anything Christian.

I believe this is why the Lord has raised up ministries like Answers in Genesis, the Creation Museum, and the new Ark Encounter. God is using these outreaches to equip Christians to stand against the secular attacks of our day and to challenge (in a very public and bold way) non-Christians with the truth of God’s Word and the gospel.

God has allowed AiG to build the Creation Museum and the Ark because I believe there are many godly people who will take a stand on the authority of the Word of God.

While we still have the freedom to boldly proclaim the message of God’s Word to the world, I pray you will support us in prayer to do whatever we can to embolden God’s people and reach millions with the saving gospel. I urge you to help us to stand against those who would try to completely outlaw Christianity from the culture.
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If God’s people don’t contend for the faith, we will see Christianity outlawed even further in our culture! I implore you to stand up for your faith. In a very public way (with an increasing number of scoffers trying to stop us), AiG is contending for the faith through many ministries like the Creation Museum and now the Ark Encounter.

Is Christianity being outlawed? Of course not. Christians are free to worship whenever, however, wherever, with whomever. Christian public school students are free to individually pray and read the Bible in school. Evangelicals are free to send their children to Christian schools or home school them. Christians are even free to build monuments to ignorance such as the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum. Evangelicals are free to evangelize their neighbors and stand on street corners preaching the gospel. Christianity is freer here in America than any other country on earth. Christian ministers get special tax exemptions/deductions, as do the churches they pastor.

Despite freedom of belief, worship, and practice that all Christians (and non-Christians) enjoy, charlatans such as Ken Ham continue to say that their brand of religious Fundamentalism is under attack. Ham says secularists are trying to ban Christianity. Knowing everything that I have mentioned above, how can Ham continue to lie about this? The very fact that Ham can build a damn wood boat on dry Kentucky land and say it is a testament to God’s saving grace is proof that secularists are NOT trying to ban Christianity. Most secularists don’t care about with whom, where, and how people worship their respective deities. Simply put…WE DON’T CARE!

We do, however, care about Evangelical (and Catholic and Mormon) attempts to breach the wall of separation of church and state. We do care when Evangelicals ignore the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights, saying that God’s law trumps man’s law. We do care when Evangelicals attempt to sneak creationism and its gussied-up sister, intelligent design, into SECULAR public school classrooms. We do care when Evangelicals wrongly assert that America is a Christian nation and that the Bible should be the law of the land. And most of all, we do care when Evangelicals attempt to hijack local, state, and federal government for their own purposes.

Secularists stand resolutely against ANY attempt to merge church and state. We are students of history, knowing that when church and state are one, freedoms are lost and people die. If anyone is a threat to America and human freedom and liberty, it is theocrats such as Ken Ham. Does Ham want more or less freedom for those who do not share his religious sentiments? Less! Does Ham support the wall of separation between church and state? Does Ham think people should be free to live godless, heathen lives? Does Ham think consenting adults should be free to do sexually as they please? Does Ham support fairness, justice and equal protection under the law for all? No, on all counts. It is Ham and his Fundamentalist horde who want to rob Americans of their freedoms, not secularists. The real enemy, Ken, is You!

Is Religion Another Away of Understanding Truth? by Sean Carroll

god-creating-earth

Contrary to what many Evangelical apologists think, scientists do not have (or think they have) answers for every possible question about the universe, life, and human existence. While science does answer many questions that humans deem important, there are yet many unanswered questions that scientists diligently seek to answer. Because science does not have ALL the answers, Evangelicals often say that religion is another empirical and equally valid way of determining and understanding truth. Of course, when science conflicts with religious truth what happens? Most Evangelicals reject that scientific truth, and put their faith in what the inspired, inerrant, infallible Word of God says about the matter. This is why there are millions of American who believe the universe is 6,021 years old, Adam and Eve were real people, and the earth was destroyed by a flood 4,000 or so years ago. This is also why snake oil salesmen like Ken Ham can build million dollar monuments to ignorance such as the Creation Museum and the Ark Encounter.

As Physicist Sean Carroll makes clear in the following two-minute video, scientists do not have all the answers, nor have they ever claimed that they do. But, regardless of the lack of answers, science still remains the best way for us to understand our world.

Video Link

Local Fundamentalist Jack Fetter Objects to My Characterization of the Ark Encounter

ark encounter

The July 31, 2016 edition of the Defiance Crescent-News featured a Letter to the Editor by local Fundamentalist Jack Fetter objecting to my recent letter about Ken Ham’s Ark Encounter. You can read my letter here. Several weeks prior to his Letter to the Editor, Fetter was featured in a puff piece extolling the wonders of Ham’s latest monument to human ignorance — the Ark Encounter. Fetter is quoted as saying (article behind Crescent-News paywall):

They (Answers in Genesis) want people to experience the most authentic reconstruction of Noah’s Ark, with ‘authentic’ being the key word. They really want people to see what life was like in Noah’s day, to get answers about the great flood and to learn that the one door on the ark represents the one and only way to God is through His Son, Jesus Christ. God hates sin, and it was at this point in history that mankind had become so rebellious, that God needed to start over again.

God is a forgiving God, but at the end, there will be judgment. We’re all going to face the Lord one day, and this project is a great reminder of what God did by sending His Son, Jesus, to earth to die for the sins of mankind. They pray this will be a life-changing experience where many will desire to have a personal relationship with Christ and serve Him.

Crescent-News religion writer, Tim McDonough, made no attempt to ask Fetter — a man who spent 42 years working for Youth for Christ — hard questions about his assertions or worldview. You know, questions about the absurdity of building a monument to events that never took place or questions about how geology, archeology, cosmology, and biology thoroughly discredit claims of a universal flood 4,000 or so years ago. Ham’s and Fetter’s irrational Fundamentalist interpretations of Genesis are littered with absurdities, yet the Crescent-News writer allowed their claims to go unchallenged. At the very least, McDonough should have interviewed any of a number local mainline pastors/priests, academics, or scientists who would have presented opposition to Fetter’s literalism. I realize that McDonough’s article was on the Friday religion page, but, my God, sir, think of the children! Surely, poking the Fundamentalist bear a bit won’t cause people to cancel their newspaper subscriptions. But then, maybe it would. Having spent the past eight years drawing the ire and hatred of local Bible-thumpers, I suspect a religious news article challenging the veracity of the flood myth would result in numerous locals throwing conniption fits.

Sunday’s paper — letters to the editor are published on Wednesdays and Sundays — featured the following from Fetter (behind Crescent-News paywall):

A recent letter to the editor on July 20 entitled, “Creation museum draws questions” had an absolute opposite effect on my life. The museum is an awesome experience that answers and defends the Word of God.

In this life when we make decisions there are ultimately two starting points on what we believe. Either we start with God’s Word or you start with man’s word and human reasoning. On the basis of these two starting points we build either a biblical worldview or man’s worldview belief.

Bruce Gerencser, the gentleman from Ney, was critical of both the Creation Museum and the Ark Encounter located in northern Kentucky. As stated by him, the Bible is full of myths. Creationism is a lie and both the Creation Museum and Ark are monuments to ignorance. This is a perfect example of man’s word/human reasoning worldview vs. the biblical worldview.

Another comment was that evangelicals bore easily and few return once they tour the Creation Museum and Ark.

First of all, all Christian growth is not boring. The most purposeful life both here and in eternity is to love and serve Jesus Christ. I have visited the Creation Museum over 30 times and have found the museum to be a treasure chest of biblical truths that will help me deepen and defend my faith. Besides the museum my biggest resource is the huge amount of creation material that can be taken home to study.

People return because even with a two-day pass it can’t be covered, especially if you do the shows, workshops,, planetarium, petting zoo, etc. There’s so much to do that I don’t have the space to share. Most repeaters bring guests and then the guests bring new people to experience the museum. This is the reason revenues have finished in the black every year at the Creation Museum.

It was indicated the Ark was built on speculation. Genesis 6:15 states the exact dimensions of the Ark and that is exactly the measurements of the Ark Encounter. It was also mentioned that it would be doubtful if the Ark would safely float. That is a non-issue because God promised there would never be another judgment by a flood. The rainbow is that reminder. However, there will be another judgment from God in the form of fire.

Jack Fetter

rural Grover Hill

Fetter’s letter is typical of those written in response to my attacks on Evangelical Christianity, Bible literalism, and scientific ignorance. You can read all of them here.  Fetter, now in his seventies, will likely die believing that the words of the Christian Bible are literally the words of God. Having invested his life in promoting Biblical literalism and scientific ignorance, Fetter has traveled too far to turn back now. Convinced that Ken Ham’s wood boat (along with the Creation Museum) will be used by God to save the lost and rebuke the wicked, Fetter has traveled over thirty times to Kentucky to view the “wonders” found within Ark Encounter and the Creation Museum. While Fetter is free to spend his remaining years of life amongst the wonders of bronze age sheepherders, I plan to spend my time making sure that another generation of American children and young adults are not intellectually crippled by Bible nonsense.

Fetter is right about one thing: the difference between him and me is one of clashing worldviews. While I would, if given the opportunity, challenge the idea that Christianity and the Bible are something other than human words and beliefs, I readily admit that the worldviews of Jack Fetter and Bruce Gerencser are poles apart. Fetter begins with faith, believing with great certainty that the Bible is a supernatural book, with a supernatural message, written by a supernatural God. Its words are inerrant, infallible, and true. I, on the other hand, begin with skepticism and reason, both of which insurmountably challenge Fetter’s system of belief. While I am certain Fetter is a decent human being, I certainly don’t want to see local school children exposed to creationism or its gussied-up sister, intelligent design. Both are theological presuppositionalist dogma masquerading as evidence-based science. If Fundamentalists such as Fetter want public school children taught creationist myths, they should be covered in comparative or world religion classes. Doing so would show students that Fetter’s flood/ark myth is just one of many that can be found among earth’s religions. Of course, Fetter and Ham want nothing of the kind. They know that exposing students to a broad spectrum of mythical religious beliefs will destroy Evangelical Christianity and its false, one-true-religion narrative. Study one religion, and you’ll be hooked for life. Study two religions, and you’re done in an hour, atheists, agnostics, and skeptics say. Rational inquiry and intellectual freedom have always been the enemy of faith.

Fetter and I are on opposing fields of battle. Fetter believes that faith in God and the teachings of the Bible will win the day, whereas I believe that skepticism and reason will one day conquer religious ignorance. Our battle is far from over, but, in time intellectual inquiry and freedom will defeat religious certainty and ignorance. I am hopeful that one day history will record that Ark Encounter and whatever other Biblical monuments Ham might erect are considered relics from a day when people naïvely believed the Christian God ruled the universe. The way forward is paved by reason, rationality, skepticism, and scientific inquiry. To reach such a place, those of us who value these things must be willing to wage war against the Jack Fetters and Ken Hams of the world. The future of the human race hangs in the balance (most anti-climate change, anti-global warming thinking is driven by religious belief). We must never waver in our defense of open, rational inquiry. Our enemy is tiring. In another generation/century or two the answer to the question, Is God Dead? will be met with a resounding reply of Yes! Until that day, we must continue to push back every attempt by Fundamentalists to bow the peoples of earth to their worldview.

Liberal Redneck Hilariously Explains Ken Ham’s Monument to Human Ignorance — Ark Encounter

Ken Ham

By now, everyone knows that Ken Ham, the CEO of Answers in Genesis, has opened his latest monument to human ignorance — Ark Encounter. Countless articles have already been written about Ham’s Ark Park, so there is no need for me to write another one. I do, however, want to post a  video by the Liberal Redneck that hilariously explains Ark Encounter. I hope you will widely share this post/video, especially with your Fundamentalist friends. Enjoy!

Video Link

Ken Ham’s Latest Monument to Human Ignorance

genocide incest park

A letter to the Editor of the Defiance Crescent-News, submitted July 11, 2016

Dear Editor,

Four or so hours away from Defiance, a man by the name of Ken Ham has built a $100 million monument to human ignorance — The Ark Encounter. This monument is a life-sized replica of Noah’s Ark. As one who was raised in the Evangelical church and pastored churches for 25 years, I heard and preached countless sermons about Noah and the Ark. Regrettably, I was in my forties before I learned that this story and many others were myths, having no basis in historical or scientific fact.

According to Ham and his fellow Evangelicals, the universe is 6,021 years old. Everything we see, both on earth and in the skies, was created by God in six literal 24-hour days. According to creationists, the book of Genesis is a science textbook, one that emphatically teaches young earth creationism. Indeed, the entire Bible is infallible and without error, and should be, with rare exception, interpreted literally.

I am sure, just as Muslims who make a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Mecca, Evangelicals will flock to Kentucky to Ham’s monument to scientific ignorance. Adults will pay $40 for the privilege of touring Ham’s Ark, children $26. While there, Evangelicals will be taught “truths” about the historicity and reliability of the Bible and young earth creationism. I am sure most visitors will be awed by Ham’s Ark, ignoring that much of what Ham has constructed is built upon speculation. If Ham built a boat according to Biblical specifications, I highly doubt Kentucky officials would grant it an occupancy permit, and it is doubtful such a boat would safely float.

Ken Ham also operates the Creation Museum, another monument to ignorance. When it first opened, Evangelicals flocked to Kentucky to witness the wonders of the young earth creationism lie. Once witnessed, Evangelicals moved on to other entertainments, resulting in decreasing revenues for Answers in Genesis. Following the script of Field of Dreams, Ham built his Ark believing Evangelicals would visit if he did. And they will, for a time. The problem for Ham lies in the fact that Evangelicals easily bore. Once Evangelicals have seen the Ark, will they return? Probably not, especially if Ham continues to charge King’s Island-like admission prices. Perhaps Ham knows this, and this is why he is already planning a new entertainment venture — a replica of the Tower of Babel. Those who love reason and science can only shake their heads.

Bruce Gerencser

Ney, Ohio

 

Ken Ham Proves Yet Again That He Doesn’t Believe in the Sufficiency of Scripture

ken ham

Ken Ham, CEO of Answers in Genesis and stand-in for Captain Noah on the Kentucky Ark of Ignorance, is well-known for pointing to the Bible — God’s science textbook — as THE (only/final) authority when it comes to understanding how the universe came to be. Ham is noted for telling Bill Nye that the Bible was all-sufficient, that it alone explains how everything came to be. But here’s the thing, Ham doesn’t really believe this. Here’s proof of my contention:

ken ham tweet

Ken, I ask you, why do we need to read your materials? I thought all we needed to do is read Genesis 1-3. Now you are saying that the Bible is NOT sufficient for our understanding of how the universe and biological life came to be. What’s up with that?

Of course, Evangelicals don’t really believe that the Bible is one-stop and shop knowledge store. If this was really the case, there would be no need for the thousands of Christian books that are published every year. There would also be no need for “ministries” such as Answers in Genesis. Ham and his cadre of professional dispensers of ignorance have published over ten thousand articles that are meant to help Evangelicals understand what God said in Genesis 1-3. If God has spoken, why would Christians have any reason to read any of Ham’s articles? The answer, of course, is that Ham needs 10,000 loads of bullshit to cover up his irrational, anti-scientific, literalistic interpretation of the Bible.

 

 

Once Again, Ken Ham Denies the Sufficiency of Scripture

ken ham

I previously wrote about that fact that Ken Ham, the CEO of Answers in Genesis, doesn’t really believe that the Bible is all-sufficient.  (Please see Ken Ham’s Ark Project Shows He Doesn’t Believe in the Sufficiency of Scripture.)  Evangelicals like Ham supposedly believe the Bible to be the inspired, inerrant, and infallible Word of God. I say supposedly, because upon closer examination of their orthopraxy (correct practice), Evangelicals are quite willing to ignore the Bible when it suits them.

Take Ham’s latest monument to Fundamentalist ignorance, the Ark Encounter: a life-size replica of Noah’s Ark. The Bible records in Genesis 6-9 the mythical story of Noah and the flood. According to the Bible, God, sickened and angered by the sin of human race, decided to use a global flood to kill everyone, save Noah and his family. Out of the millions of people on the face of the earth, only Noah, his wife, his sons and their wives, were deemed worthy of God’s grace (evidently Noah’s grandchildren didn’t make the cut).

God told Noah to prepare a big boat, by which he, Jehovah, would save Noah and his family. In Genesis 6:13-16, God gave Noah strict engineering plans to follow when building the ark:

And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits. A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it.

God told Noah to use gopher wood for the Ark’s construction. The word gopher is used only once in the Bible. Some English translations leave the word untranslated, while others, especially modern Bible versions, translate the Hebrew word as cypress or cedar. Knowing these things, imagine my surprise when I read that Ken Ham is using spruce trees (Englemann spruce) to build his replica of Noah’s Ark. Ham writes:

When you visit the Ark Encounter next year, one of the things that will just blow you away is the massive scope of the Ark and the colossal size of the trees that were used to construct it. We’ve heard people ask what type of trees they are and where they came from. The trees were standing dead Englemann spruce that were over 200 years old.

….

They were responsibly harvested from a forest in Utah. There are select forests managed by the forestry service where dead trees, before they begin to rot, are harvested and repurposed; then the forest is replanted for future harvests. What’s really nice about these gigantic 66 foot tall logs that are 50 inches in diameter is the fact that they are already dry, so they won’t move or twist once in place.

Why isn’t Ham using gopher wood? Surely, God meant what he said when he told Noah exactly what wood and dimensions to use in constructing the Ark. Evidently, Ham doesn’t really believe that the Bible is all-sufficient. If he did, he would either scour the earth looking for gopher wood or he would use cyprus/cedar to build the Ark. Instead, Ham chose a wood that met project engineering and cost requirements. In other words, he allowed modern science and mathematics to dictate the construction of his modern-day Ark. It is too bad that Ham can’t do the same when it comes to the creationist story of Genesis 1-3. Why does Ham demand a literalistic interpretation of Genesis 1-3, yet ignore this hermeneutic when choosing which wood to use for building the Ark? Ham demands that modern scientists bow to the authority of the Bible, yet he is quite willing to ignore it when it suits him.

Ham presents the Ark project as one that is environmentally responsible. Ham says the project’s spruce trees were “responsibly harvested from a forest in Utah.” What he fails to tell readers is why these trees were available for what Ham calls the “largest timber-frame structure in the world.” According to the The Salt Lake Tribune, spruce beetles have destroyed the state’s once burgeoning Englemann spruce population. In 2011, Brandon Loomis, a writer for The Tribunewrote:

Some three-toed woodpecker in these woods is pleasantly plump on beetles, but the buffet can’t go on forever. It lasts only as long as the trees.

The gluttony is written on and around a stocky spruce that looks green and mostly healthy to the untrained eye, except for the fact that it’s pecked nude from the waist down.

No bird harmed the tree, though. The damage was already done.

“These trees are loaded with bugs,” said Liz Hebertson, a U.S. Forest Service entomologist, down from Ogden to survey this year’s spruce-beetle infestation in south-central Utah. Peeling back a neighboring spruce’s bark confirms that larvae are maturing, readying for the short flight of their lives in search of new pine prey.

It’s nothing new to her. Mountains of Utah’s verdant spruce slopes are gone. If climate scientists are right, they might never be back.

After a rain, Utah’s high spruce forests evoke the misty Pacific Northwest — unlikely lush islands rising from redrock desert and olive chaparral. Now a complex set of threats conspires to take them down.

One is natural — the beetle with a taste for older trees, aided by a decade of tree-stressing drought. Another is a century of fire suppression that built up fuels to the bursting point. Aiding both those killers is a rising thermometer.

Even if a warmer climate can again support Engelmann spruce — the state’s dominant commercial-grade tree — it will be 200 years or more until they grow back to the towering sentinels that 20th-century Utahns knew. In the meantime, subalpine firs may spring up in their place, replacing green for green but not with dollars. Subalpine firs are more brittle — not lumber material.

….

It’s been a losing battle so far, and science suggests it’s a long-run lost cause.

First, there’s the insect’s physiology and its response to increasing warmth. The cold-blooded spruce beetles in these hills once took two years to mature from the egg and fly on to breed in new trees. In the early 2000s, Hebertson said, forest scientists documented a switch to one-year cycles here, which boosted the population and primed a disaster.

Beetles have taken 2 million acres of Utah forest in roughly that time, the largest share of it spruce. The outbreak started in the 1990s around Cedar Breaks National Monument in southwestern Utah, where Hebertson has seen no evidence of spruce regeneration since.

The Forest Service has found that higher temperatures aid and speed beetle production. The Utah Climate Center at Utah State University finds that since 1970 the mercury has risen swiftly when it counts most — more than 3 degrees on average during bug-killing winter lows at a monitoring station at Capitol Reef National Park in southern-central Utah.

A decade of beetles-gone-wild might not spell doom in normal conditions. Big outbreaks have shown up before, and the spruce have rebounded. This time, though, computer models based on society’s carbon emissions aren’t looking good. They show Engelmann spruce practically blinking out in Utah by 2090, limited to a strand in the High Uintas.

….

Global warming is the reason Ham found reasonably priced spruce trees for the Ark project, the very climate change Ham denies is materially affecting the earth. Rod J. Martin, a self-described independent researcher with no stated scientific credentials, explains Answers in Genesis’ official global warming position this way: (link no longer active)

The Bible does not speak directly about what we call global warming. It does, however, provide a framework for evaluating the merits of global warming claims. To reiterate, the global warming discussion centers on CO2 (the atmosphere) and trees (plants). The Bible, of course, addresses the atmosphere and plants. The biblical framework for evaluating global warming is primarily found in Genesis. The RATE study mentioned above established that Genesis 1:1 to 2:3 (the Creation account) was narrative. The study also determined that the Flood account (Genesis chapters 7 to 9) is also narrative (Vardiman et al. 2005, pp. 661 and 667). This paper will also briefly reference the dispersion of the nations at the tower of Babel in the summary. Although the RATE study did not evaluate the Tower of Babel, I believe that if the creation and the Flood passages are narrative then the tower of Babel passage is narrative also. These passages describe real events and real people. The following sections briefly discuss passages related to the atmosphere and plants.

….

The biblical history of the earth, contained in the first 11 chapters of the book of Genesis, provides a useful and sufficient framework for evaluating the current global warming issue. As we have seen, CO2 is a natural atmospheric gas that is essential for man’s existence. It is not a pollutant. The atmosphere is likely deficient in CO2 compared with the original created atmosphere. Reducing CO2 would definitely create problems, but increasing it will not. Burning fossil fuels merely returns CO2 to its place of origin. Forests are to be used for man’s benefit. They are not needed to produce O2 and they have no intrinsic rights, but should be managed responsibly and effectively.

Basic science is consistent with the biblical history and argues strongly against the global warming hypothesis. Melting glaciers and changing climates are not an indication of man-made global warming. These natural phenomena have been operating for thousands of years. Temperature histories are imprecise and unreliable. Global warming is built on an evolutionary earth history and an evolutionary time scale. Anything built on a faulty foundation cannot stand. Global warming is an offshoot of evolutionary thinking and is needlessly creating mass hysteria. God is in control of the earth, not man.

It can be expected that several trends evident since the Flood, however, will continue: sea level will rise as polar glaciers continue to melt, and deserts will expand. These trends, as we have shown, have little to do with CO2, they are a consequence of a God ordained event, the Flood. Governments with either ocean boundaries or deserts should consider how to efficiently and economically address these trends. There is no viable justification either biblically or scientifically for limiting the generation of CO2 or restricting logging of forests.

….

When it comes to the type of wood to use for his colossal tinker toy project, Ham ignores the Bible and, instead, buys a wood that is affordable thanks to global warming. Yet, when it comes to the warming of the planet and what problems rising global temperatures will cause, Ham, Martin, and the “astute” scientists at Answers in Genesis, demand a return to a strict, literalistic reading of Genesis 1-3. Simply put, global warming is much ado about nothing, because…drum roll please, the BIBLE says. While Ham uses modern engineering practices and cost studies for building the Ark, he reverts to knuckle-dragging, young-earth-creationist talking points when it comes to global warming.

I wish Ken Ham would make up his mind about the sufficiency of the Bible. Either it’s God’ divine science textbook or it’s not. Either God did or he didn’t tell Noah everything he needed to know about building a large boat in the desert. Which is it? Or perhaps Ham, like all Evangelicals, gives lip service to the sufficiency of the Bible. When it suits him he demands literalism, but when necessary Ham is quite willing to abandon the all-sufficient Bible in favor of modern science and technology.