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Here’s the Atlantic’s attempted takedown of Ken Ham (Answers in Genesis)

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Ham is Australian—a rare sort of Australian, in that he is religiously devout and completely humorless—but he possesses a specifically American talent, one on display in mega-churches and theme parks across the country, for staging emotion-saturated high-tech spectacles. And so his museum is filled with buff animatronic Adams and sexpot Eves (plastic breasts covered by waterfalls of extremely healthy hair) and writhing snakes and flying dragons and dinosaurs much larger than the average chicken. The museum’s core argument is posted near the main entrance: “The Bible is authoritative, without error, and inspired by God.” Its other message to the Christian tourist market is left unstated: the Book of Genesis, in addition to being the source of holiness and cosmic truth, is also a source of Epcot-quality fun. …

“Why shouldn’t we as Christians use the best technology we can?” Ham asked me, though I had not questioned Christians’ right to deploy Disney-level engineering in their museums. Ham is not only a creationist but an oppositionist. He knows that his ministry, Answers in Genesis, draws the scorn of sophisticates, and so he takes special delight in portraying himself as a rational Daniel in the lions’ den of militant secularism, the lions being the media and the scientific establishment and the ghost of Clarence Darrow and millions of liberal and even not so liberal Christians and pretty much anyone who disagrees with Ken Ham.

A certain sort of sophisticate just knows he is right about everything (cf Jeffrey Goldberg, magazine award winner), because he is so hot, he is cool.

Look, I am not a young Earth creationist, but this much I know is true: In twenty years, The Atlantic might not be here but the Bible will.

Because no one who made it into the Bible would be such a self-referential snoot as the author who puts himself on display here.

When people are dealing with facts and truth, they are usually more humble. For one thing, there are genuine, serious problems with current claims in many of  the relevant sciences.

But the sophisticate wouldn’t have the wit to be usefully interested in those problems.

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7 Replies to “Here’s the Atlantic’s attempted takedown of Ken Ham (Answers in Genesis)

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    The Ham-Nye Creation Debate: A Huge Missed Opportunity
    – Casey Luskin – February 4, 2014
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....81911.html

  2. 2
    News says:

    Yes, the Ham-Nye debate was a huge missed op. But, to me, a bigger issue is the useless self-referential chattering class. Always eager to be seen as so hot they are cool. Contributing zero to anything of importance.

  3. 3
    Paul Giem says:

    This guy Goldberg is not a very clear thinker. He writes,

    Luckily, I belong to a tradition that, in addition to creating the Bible …, came to understand, per Maimonides, that the first chapters of Genesis contain stories meant to advance an understanding of universal, ethical monotheism, rather than scientific explanations for creation.

    What he fails to realize is that for Ken Ham, and most creationists, the dispute is not about science, but about history. No creationist that I know of, old earth or young earth, believes that unintelligent forces did the creating. They are already outside of the “methodological naturalism” definition of science the way it is usually used (somewhat unfairly, as are humans included in “methodological naturalism”? If not, methodological naturalism fails, but if so, methodological naturalism includes humans and therefore potentially other intelligences). Furthermore, since God is the Creative Power that is supposed to have created life, unless one puts God into science, a move that neither side would find persuasive, the creation story is not about science. It is rather about history. One way of looking at it is that the dispute is about whether history is entirely explained by science apart from intelligence.

    That being the case, Goldberg’s statement that “the first chapters of Genesis” are aimed at something else “than scientific explanations for creation” would be agreed to by all sides including Ken Ham and is a trivial observation. The real question is, are the first chapters of Genesis intended to be a historical explanation of creation?

    And what Goldberg fails to realize is that stories that have a point lose their intrinsic authority if they are not true. One might behave better if one believes that Santa Claus “knows when you’ve been good or bad”, but if one doesn’t believe the story, one does not use it to “be good for goodness’ sake”. Thus if the first chapters of Genesis contain stories that are in fact not historical explanations of creation, how can they be validly used as supporting evidence to advance an understanding of universal, ethical monotheism? We would seem to be reduced to saying that we believe, but the historical evidence is really against us.

    Now, if Goldberg had gone the Gerald Schroeder route, and had claimed that the underlying meaning was that of seven days from God’s perspective but billions of years from ours, and that the words have precise meanings once one understands them, although I might not agree with the interpretation, I could understand. But the blithe disregard for any historical meaning implies that any attempt to advance an understanding of universal, ethical monotheism based on the text is building on a foundation of sand.

    His criticism of the museum is way over the top in places:

    buff animatronic Adams and sexpot Eves (plastic breasts covered by waterfalls of extremely healthy hair)

    How did he want Adam to be portrayed? With a beer belly? What other kind of breasts would an animatronic Eve have? Real flesh? Iron? Was Eve supposed to have sickly thinning hair? And has not Goldberg read, yea quoted, that
    “???????????? ?????????? ??????????? ????????? ???????????? ?????? ????????????????”
    (and they were, two of them, naked, the man and his wife, and not ashamed)? How would he have done any better if he were illustrating the scene? It all seems like an illegitimate put-down to me.

    It is even more ironic that he starts his next paragraph starts with

    “Why shouldn’t we as Christians use the best technology we can?” Ham asked me, though I had not questioned Christians’ right to deploy Disney-level engineering in their museums.”

    Goldberg expects us to see this as at least mild paranoia on Ham’s part, but the preceding paragraph seems to indicate that at least in Goldberg’s mind he was questioning, if not Christians’ right, at least their propriety in using the best technology available. Certainly there are others who have raised such questions. It seems to me that it is Ken Ham that is being logical (to the point of portraying a multiracial Adam–see the photo in the original article), and that it is Goldberg here that is being “emotion-saturated”.

  4. 4
    Tim says:

    The sophisticate sneers; his nose sniffs at the flute,
    “No Dom, just the Mumm’s at tonight’s institute!”
    There remains one fine tweek
    In “l’affair d’Atlantique”
    ‘Twas News and her use of that twerp-drop word, “snoot.”

  5. 5
    Paul Giem says:

    Sorry, the Hebrew,
    “wayihyu shneyhem `arumiym ha’adam we’ishto welo’ yithboshashu
    looked good in the preview, but got completely mangled when cycled through the website.

  6. 6
    tjguy says:

    Paul Giem says:

    And what Goldberg fails to realize is that stories that have a point lose their intrinsic authority if they are not true. One might behave better if one believes that Santa Claus “knows when you’ve been good or bad”, but if one doesn’t believe the story, one does not use it to “be good for goodness’ sake”. Thus if the first chapters of Genesis contain stories that are in fact not historical explanations of creation, how can they be validly used as supporting evidence to advance an understanding of universal, ethical monotheism? We would seem to be reduced to saying that we believe, but the historical evidence is really against us.

    Good point!

  7. 7
    Blue_Savannah says:

    So, the author does a hit piece on Ham and the Creation museum then condemns him because according to the author’s allegedly unbiased opinion, he:

    …takes special delight in portraying himself as a rational Daniel in the lions’ den of militant secularism, the lions being the media and the scientific establishment and the ghost of Clarence Darrow and millions of liberal and even not so liberal Christians and pretty much anyone who disagrees with Ken Ham.

    Gee, I wonder why Ham would feel the media is against him.

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