Ham, Get on Message!

Jon Hurdle reports in today's Times on nine Philadelphia-based institutions that are planning a "Year of Evolution" program for February 2009, to celebrate Charles Darwin and the 150th anniversary of The Origin of Species.

Check out the comments of Ken Ham, which I think are totally off message:

Ken Ham, the president of the Creation Museum, said he expected to see more pro-evolution events as the Darwin anniversary approaches. Mr. Ham said that in response his museum was planning its own exhibits on the origins of life.

"The culture war is definitely heating up," he said.

Mr. Ham, who also leads Answers in Genesis, a nonprofit group promoting a literal interpretation of the biblical creation story, defined the clash of ideas as "Christianity versus the relative morality of secular humanism" and said they were "two fundamentally different worldviews."

He rejected the possibility that Christians could believe in evolution. "If you take Genesis as literal history, then of course the two are exclusive," he said. "Christians who believe in evolution are being inconsistent."

This is about the scientific case for creationism, right? So, why is Ham talking about the culture war? Don't his comments basically support the idea that teaching creationism's flavor of the week amounts to feeding the Christianity side of the "culture war?"

Ham needs to hire me. He should have said: "Intelligent Design does a better job explaining the fundamentals of how life first appeared on Earth and how a creator could have fashioned all the species in such a way that allowed microevolution to flourish. The Creationism Museum assembles the scientific evidence and philosophical evidence, much of which derives from liturgical sources, to make the case for Intelligent Design. The Evolutionists have to coordinate this event, because they are threatened by the Kuhnian revolution now underway that increasingly supports the maxims of Intelligent Design."

I will go shower now.

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I know I am not intelligently designed. If I were, my testicles would be located safely inside my pelvis and not hanging freely outside my body where all manner of troubles arise.

"Christianity versus the relative morality of secular humanism"

Wait, I'll fix it:

"Christianity versus the relatively more advanced morality of secular humanism"

By Jason Failes (not verified) on 23 Jun 2008 #permalink

Well, different versions of Genesis are exclusive, too.
Idjit.

From what I've seen Ham (for whatever reason) thinks science supports his viewpoint, but it seems that he has been adamant that faith comes first. They believe their interpretation of the Bible is true and therefore nothing can contradict it. It may be daft but at least they're more up front about the fact that they reject good science because their faith in their own narrow theological viewpoint gives them no other alternative.

I am just wondering why we need to hear from Ham at all in the piece. If the article is about Philadelphia honoring Darwin and evolutionary theory why should any space be given to Ham? This is another piece that suffers from the compulsion to be "fair and balanced" and give anyone who objects to a viewpoint plenty of room to air their complaints no matter how ill-founded those objections are.

The following dissertation on Darwin is lifted from Volume 1 of The Quest for Right, a series of seven books on origins based on physical science, the old science of cause and effect.

On the outset, the reader should be aware that Darwin was a self-proclaimed agnostic; he did not deny the possibility that God exists but believed it was beyond one's mental ability to decide if there is, indeed, any divine force. Darwin, in response to an invitation to become a Patron of the Cat Show (September 18, 1872), lightheartedly referred to himself and cronies as "atheistical cats." By definition, an atheist either does not believe in, or denies the existence of God. Regardless of the profile, agnostics and atheists alike believe that all questions concerning origins, being, and the like may be explained fully by material phenomena and logic; scientists have since added a third dimension, the orderly application of mathematics, called electronic interpretationread the matter in detail in Volume 1.

A cultural note: a marked distinction separates men who profess to be disciples (followers) of Christ and adherents of the Bible and those who profess to be outside Christianity (called unbelievers). Regarding the current definitions of agnostic and atheist, the text of the New Testament refutes the associated attributes, specifically the possibility that man (for whatever reason) either does not believe in the existence of God or else believes it is beyond one's mental ability to decide if there is a God. Countering the claim, the Apostle Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, penned, "For the invisible things of him [God] from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they [men who 'hold the truth in unrighteousness'] are without excuse" (Romans 1:20-22). The things God created are aptly referred to as the glory of God.

In deference to the biblical precept, the eternal power and Godhead (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) are clearly evidenced (seen and understood) by the things that God created and made. One only has to observe his or her surroundings; for instance, a wilderness setting with stately trees reaching skyward, colorful wildflowers dotting the meadows, wood ducks by a pool, and animals scurrying about in the underbrush, to realize the knowledge of the existence of God. There are, however, men who do "not like to retain God in their knowledge" (Romans 1:28), and cast down every thought of God. Regrettably, the course of action is not without due penalty: "Because when they knew God [everyone has known God at one time in his or her life], they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools" (Romans 1:21, 22).

In light of the foregoing scriptures, the current definitions of agnostic and atheist are wholly inept: men who hold the biblical precept to be patently false, professing either not to believe or know that there is an eternal power, are neither agnostic nor atheist, but willfully disobedientwillful, "done on purpose; deliberate." The comprehensive assessment will be fully justified; please read on.

Concurring with the biblical principle, Darwin may be charged with being willfully disobedient, as observed in his criticism of the tenets of Christianity. Of one certainty the reader may be assured, Darwin did not speak objectively when it came to Christianityobjectively, "uninfluenced by personal feelings, prejudices or agendas." In a bitter denial of Christianity, Darwin complained that he "could hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity to be true; for if so, the plain language of the text seems to show that the men who do not believe, and this would include my Father, Brother and almost all my best friends, will be everlastingly punished. And this is a damnable doctrine." Why was Darwin so embittered? Read Revelation 20:11-15; 21:7, 8.

In order to access an online, audible Bible, and to read the biblical verses in context, go here: http://www.audio-bible.com/bible/bible.html
You may wish to bookmark the site. RealPlayer is required to listen to the Audio Bible.

Darwin once confessed to being a theist, the belief in the existence of a god or gods, in particular the belief that God both created and rules all earthly phenomena. After the publication of the Origin, Darwin charged his original belief in God to the "constant inculcation" (instruction or indoctrination) in a belief in God" during his childhood, which was as difficult to cast down as "for a monkey to throw off its instinctive fear and hatred of a snake." With self-assurance, Darwin purposed in his heart that he would no longer retain God in his knowledge, resolving instead to become an "agnostic." The reader is, therefore, cautioned that, whenever reading books and articles about Darwin, most, if not all, biographical authors are predisposed to depict him in a favorable light, oftentimes allowing pro-evolutionist sentiment to prejudice their work.

The Old Testament did not escape Darwin's inflamed rhetoric; concerning the validity of biblical histories (in particular, the Genesis account of creation), Darwin pointedly declared that "the manifestly false history of the earth....was no more to be trusted than the sacred books of the Hindoos (sic), or the beliefs of any barbarian." Thus, Darwin likened the creation of the first man, Adam (Genesis 2:7-25), to a mere fairy tale. As an alternative to the counterfactual history, he summarily disposed of both creationism and God by declaring in the Origin that, once the reader entertains the "volumne (sic) on the origin of species...light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history," meaning that man and apes diverged from a common ancestor through the agency of evolution without the aid or influence of Godthere is no God.

You will not want to miss the adventure of a lifetime which awaits you in Volume 1 of The Quest for Right.

The Quest for Right, a series of 7 textbooks created for the public schools, represents the ultimate marriage between an in-depth knowledge of biblical phenomena and natural and physical sciences. The several volumes have accomplished that which, heretofore, was deemed impossible: to level the playing field between those who desire a return to physical science in the classroom and those who embrace the theory of evolution. The Quest for Right turns the tide by providing an authoritative and enlightening scientific explanation of natural phenomena which will ultimately dethrone the unprofitable Darwinian view.

Steve, I know I'm not intelligently designed because no intelligent designer would ever expect any being, thinking or otherwise, to squeeze an absurdly large-headed offspring out of a tiny hole like that in her pelvis.

Ever notice how human sexual dimorphism is backwards? You'd sort of expect the ones who were doing said squeezing to be the bigger ones, wouldn't you? (That said, I'm opting out. I've got the means, motive, and opportunity, and thank you, sir, you couldn't pay me enough not to use 'em.)

I don't know how anyone can look at the mess of "just good enough" kludges that make up the world and posit a Grand Omnipotent Designer of any sort. (If there were a Grand Omnipotent Designer, sie hadn't gotten enough sleep and had been living on drugs and junk food for a month prior.)

By Interrobang (not verified) on 23 Jun 2008 #permalink

"The culture war is definitely heating up," (Ham) said.

Isn't that sort of like saying the space race is 'heating up'? It's over.

Why is it that the same Christians who claim to rail against "relativism" seem to fervently endorse it whenever I point out that evil is evil, and thus should be opposed.

Steve,

Testicles 'left safely in the pelvis' are at higher risk for malignant transformation. Evolution was at work when embryologically the testicles descended into the scrotal sac- it reduced the incidence of testicular cancers... be thankful...

sac

Sac,
Well then the absence of intelligent design is further proved if the 2 alternatives are higher incidence of testicular cancer OR a lifetime of accidentally sitting on my balls.

Steve

I don't know how anyone can look at the mess of "just good enough" kludges that make up the world and posit a Grand Omnipotent Designer of any sort. (If there were a Grand Omnipotent Designer, sie hadn't gotten enough sleep and had been living on drugs and junk food for a month prior.)

Hmmm -- too complex. Going by Occam's Razor, I'd say it was more a case of "She had PMS at the time and now we're ALL suffering for it."

By D. C. Sessions (not verified) on 23 Jun 2008 #permalink

Steve,
It's very simple. God designed your balls, and Satan decided to hang them on the outside.

Interrobang,
the story of the creation of your hoohah doubtless follows the same general pattern as that of steve's nuts.

This is another piece that suffers from the compulsion to be "fair and balanced" and give anyone who objects to a viewpoint plenty of room to air their complaints no matter how ill-founded those objections are.
James Hansen addressed this issue yesterday in a public radio interview. He said for an interview a few years ago, the station insisted on bringing on a global-warming denier for "balance." Hansen said it's really not balance when the vast majority (and their evidence) are in agreement, and only a minority offering weak and already debunked arguments represent the opposition.

By Mark Duigon (not verified) on 24 Jun 2008 #permalink

First off, I believe I speak for everyone here when I say:

F*ck off, Parsons, you tardbot!

Second, my Enquiring Mind wants to know:

Message? Ham has a message?

We now return you to your regularly scheduled Ham-bitchslapping session already in progress.

By themadlolscientist (not verified) on 24 Jun 2008 #permalink

I've heard conservatives, on the topic of "culture wars", place greatest importance on the ideals of Western civilization. Isn't the scientific method, in its most rigorous sense, one of the ideals of the Age of Reason and the Enlightenment in Europe and the newly founded U.S., and therefore a product of Western civilization?

Note that I'm not claiming that this should be a factor in a "culture war" (whatever that actually is), nor that pre-Enlightenment or non-Western civilizations weren't capable of scientific inquiry and discovery. It's just that for a Eurocentric conservative looking for historical bragging rights, disparaging the modern incarnation of the scientific method on philosophical grounds seems inconsistent.

By Julie Stahlhut (not verified) on 25 Jun 2008 #permalink

I know I am not intelligently designed. If I were, my testicles would be located safely inside my pelvis and not hanging freely outside my body where all manner of troubles arise.

Spermatogenesis takes place at a temperature lower than that of the human body. Hence, the scrotum.

no intelligent designer would ever expect any being, thinking or otherwise, to squeeze an absurdly large-headed offspring out of a tiny hole like that in her pelvis.

You sure got that right. Been there, done that, and the first thing I said after my son was born was:

"Who drove a truck out my ass?"

Meanwhile, my ex was holding him and having a total Cute Overload attack: "Now I know what they mean by baby-soft skin...."

"She had PMS at the time and now we're ALL suffering for it."

If childbirth is any indication, not only was she PMSing, she also had a ripping world-class conged-on-the-head-with-the whole-keg hangover. In that kind of mood, she just might have hung the Family Jewels on the outside out of pure spite. :-)

Spermatogenesis takes place at a temperature lower than that of the human body.

You see there? An intelligent designer would have set things up so that healthy sperm could be made at normal body temperature. ID FAIL again!

By themadlolscientist (not verified) on 26 Jun 2008 #permalink

"I know I am not intelligently designed. If I were, my testicles would be located safely inside my pelvis"

Which would lead to a higher change of testicular cancer.