Pharyngula

Crap. Lippard misread the report: it was a 6 month form. There has been no net decline in revenues to that creationist junk organization, and I was wrong. There have been no promising developments in a decline in grassroots support for creationism.

I’ve always had a low regard for settling creationism by court cases, since they don’t do a thing to address popular support. Here is far better news, though, and unless there’s some remarkable explanation for it, it’s the most promising sign of real progress I’ve seen yet: revenues for Answers in Genesis dropped from $10 million in 2004 to $5 million in 2005. That’s still a big chunk of change, but this is at the same time that they’ve been getting massive amounts of free PR for their creation “science” museum project, and it suggests that maybe people are getting leery of throwing their money into a futile endeavor. At least, we can hope it signifies a massive erosion of public support.

If I see Ken Ham with a cardboard sign begging for handouts someday, I might toss him a nickel.

Comments

  1. #1 Aero
    December 29, 2006

    I wouldn’t flip Ham or his ilk even a wooden nickel.

  2. #2 Interrobang
    December 29, 2006

    If you toss him a nickel, be sure to bounce it off his head.

  3. #3 Scott Hatfield
    December 29, 2006

    I’d rather serve him a lawsuit on behalf of all the kids he defrauded by undermining science education….SH

  4. #4 Blake Stacey
    December 29, 2006

    I’m still expecting something truly scandalous to come out about AiG’s finances. To put the matter bluntly, what they try to defend is not true, and you can only defend an untruth by lying. If you adopt methods of dishonesty as your career, then I can only imagine that you inure yourself to worse sins in all aspects of your life.

    Mark my words: it’ll all come out in the IRS audits or in the divorce courts.

  5. #5 Samnell
    December 30, 2006

    “If I see Ken Ham with a cardboard sign begging for handouts someday, I might toss him a nickel.”

    Don’t do that. He’ll only spend it lying about science. Well, maybe if he promised to save it up to buy himself a stiff drink or a turn with a lady or gentleman of the evening it would be ok.

  6. #6 Kristine
    December 30, 2006

    Let Hammie eat shimmies! (His own.)

    However, their net assets still rose, and they still make much more money than NCSE, as the author points out.

  7. #7 RBH
    December 30, 2006

    My guess is that partl;y reflects the split between Ham’s U.S. operation and the international operation headquartered in Australia. In addition, my understanding is that Ham is paying cash for the museum ($25 mil IIRC) so a substantial part of the ‘normal’ income may have diverted there, too.

  8. #8 Angry Lab Rat
    December 30, 2006

    Yay. As a biologist, I am particularly disgusted by clueless conservatives bashing a field they cannot understand. I’m always hopeful that reason and skepticism will win over blind faith and ignorance.

    For more comments on this topic, please visit my blog post:

    http://angrylabrat.blogspot.com/2006/12/clueless-conservatives-and-evolution.html

  9. #9 Zeno
    December 30, 2006

    I suspect RBH is right: It can’t have helped AiG that it cut itself off from its parent organization in Australia. Apparently Ham decided that he was not answerable to a higher authority.

    His creation museum has also been soaking up the money in a big way. Since I’m on AiG’s mailing list, I’ve seen the vigor with which Ham has been begging for more contributions. I scanned and posted the contents of two of his fundraising letters. These aren’t new posts, so don’t bother if you’ve already seen them (PZ previously linked to the second one).

    Greenbacks and Ham: The creation museum is super great but Ham is broke, so send money!

    Creationists’ secret weapon: AiG to publish book “debunking” evolution (yeah, big news)… and (again) send money!

  10. #10 keiths
    December 30, 2006

    I also think RBH may be right. If I recall correctly, Ham had been bragging about how everything was hunky-dory with the museum. The next thing you know, he’s begging for money. Not long after that, the news about the schism with the Australians came out.

  11. #11 Shawn S.
    December 30, 2006

    Don’t flip that chump a nikel. Flip him a highly and efficiently evolved bird. Why wait for him to be carrying a cardboard sign.

    …or a V sign if you speak with a cool accent.

    Oh yeah, that reminds me. I was leaving Wally World when I saw a lady with a cardboard sign stating she wanted money for some reason or other and I gave her $2 I had in my car. She said “God Bless You” and I replied “I don’t believe in God, but thank you anyway.”

    I’m not sure she heard me, but it was fun.

  12. #12 Mike Haubrich
    December 30, 2006

    I think that as more and more fundamentalists join megachurches like Mac Hammond’s, they are giving so much more in addition to their tithing that they have nothing left for groups like AIG. They have become more obsessed with giving to get rich, that the issue of fighting evolution is one that can wait until God has made them prosperous.

  13. #13 One Eyed Jack
    December 30, 2006

    PZ,

    The link in your post seems to be broken.

    Regarless, word of AIG losing revenue is great news! This is my best Mithras gift this year!

    OEJ

  14. #14 One Eyed Jack
    December 30, 2006

    Scratch my comment about the link. I see what I did wrong.

    OEJ

  15. #15 valharr2000
    December 30, 2006

    If I saw Ken Ham with a card board sign begging for money, I would wave a nickel at him and say: “Do you want this? Do you? Then dance for me! Come on! Dance for me!”.

    Well, I wouldn’t, but the idea seems funny to me.

  16. #16 dd
    December 30, 2006

    One of the comments to the cited source, http://lippard.blogspot.com/2006/12/answers-in-genesis-revenue-declines-by.html#comment-3857631315128119115,
    states that the reported numbers are for 6 months rather than 12. I do not know if this is accurate, but if so, the enthusiasm displayed in the report does not match the facts.

  17. #17 Jim Lippard
    December 30, 2006

    dd: The commenter is correct. I’ve updated my post to apologize for my embarassing error. I’d not previously seen a less-than-full-year Form 990 and failed to notice the calendar dates at the top of the first page of the report. All of AiG’s previous Form 990s that I had reviewed were full-year reports. While I had done some looking for technical causes of such a huge decline–checking to see if they had split their museum into a separate legal entity, for example–I failed to notice what should have been obvious at the top of the report.

    I apologize to everyone who took my report at face value, and promise to be more diligent when reviewing such data in the future.

  18. #18 Jim Lippard
    December 30, 2006

    Zeno:

    The terms of the AiG/CMI split were very favorable to AiG, not CMI, though there may be some negative PR fallout for AiG in the long-term.

  19. #19 Zeno
    December 30, 2006

    Darn. The original item got my hopes up. Darn.

    At least Jim did a very nice job of ‘fessing up promptly. Good on him for that.

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