My new issue of Answers Update, the monthly newsletter of Answers in Genesis, turned up in the mail today. It’s a twenty-four page magazine, more than half of which contains advertisements for their various products. But there is also a lead article on the cover, written by Ken Ham himself. Here’s the opening:
I’m sure you have heard the famous saying from the Star Trek TV series, “Beam me up, Scotty!” The 1960s series, which has become a cult classic (I have to admit I’ve watched many episodes myself!), told stories of the crew of a futuristic starship, the Enterprise, as it explored the universe.
Sadly, though, this TV series also “beamed up viewers,” into a universe full of evolutionary ideas.
That last line explains the title of this post.
This is another example of the complete inability of AiG to be right about even the simplest things. I’m sure that we all noticed the egregious error in that paragraph, but for the benefit of younger readers, who probably think the captain of the Enterprise is a scrawny British guy, I’ll point it out.
Sherlock Holmes never said, “Elementary, my dear Watson.” Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca never said, “Play it again, Sam.”
And Captain Kirk never said, “Beam me up, Scotty!” Think they’ll print a corection?
But I’m more interested to know which episodes Ham has in mind. It’s been about fifteen years since I last watched an episode of the original Star Trek, but off hand I can only think of a handful of examples of evolutionary ideas.
There was the memorable Season Two episode “Obsession,” in which Captain Kirk resolves to defeat a creature, more of a gaseous cloud actually, which kills people by devouring all of their red blood cells. Kirk’s obsession (hence the title of the episode) leads to some poor decisions, which in turn lead to the creature boarding the Enterprise. At one point it attacks Spock who, while hurt, survives the attack. Kirk is surprised. Dr. McCoy explains that it was Spock’s green blood that saved him. “My ancestors spawned in a different ocean from yours,” says Spock.
There was also the Season One episode “Errand of Mercy,” in which Kirk and Spock struggle to protect the inhabitants of planet Organia from Klingon intrusions. Our heroes find themselves unable to convince the Organians they are in any danger at all, but risk their lives to help them nevertheless. In the end it turns out the Organians are superior beings with some pretty spectacular super powers. They were genuinely never in any danger from the primitive Klingons. They maintained humanoid form so as not to scare the many tourists who visit their planet. I don’t have a specific quote, but as I recall things there was at least a strong implication that the Organians were “more evolved” than our heroes.
I was going to include the Season Three episode “All Our Yesterdays,” in which Kirk, Spock and McCoy get sent back into the past of planet Sarpeidon. Spock and McCoy find themselves back in the planet’s ice age. At this point in history the Vulcans had not yet become devoted to pure logic, resulting in Mr. Spock suddenly lusting after Mariette Hartley. But according to the plot summary at the link, this was only 5,000 years in the past, and therefore within acceptable bounds from Ham’s perspective.
And that’s all I can think of. If you recall any other evolution references in Star Trek, let me know. Of course, there was that Next Generation episode where a bizarre illness causes everyone to start de-evolving (Riker as a Neanderthal!). That was cool, but it’s not what we’re talking about just now.