One thing I think Ken Ham and Kent Hovind do rather well is to remind us how primitive young-earth creationism really is. They know, even without looking at any evidence, that the primitive God of Genesis 1 and 2 hasn’t got a chance of coming up with anything as advanced as our modern, scientific understanding of biology. Being a primitive invention Himself, He is limited to using only the techniques available to the imagination of unscientific and illiterate people.
Now, Ham and Hovind would never put this principle into so many words, of course. But look at their basic model of how creation works. What’s the principle technique involved? Magic. Say a few words, cast a spell, and poof, it just happens. When you don’t understand something, that’s the first model that pops into your head, at least if you’re uneducated and superstitious. Can’t figure out how that works? Must be magic. What’s lightning? Magic. What causes diseases? Must be bad magic. Where do babies come from? They don’t happen every time you have sex. Hmm, magic must be part of that too.
Of course, “magic” is really just something that happens in your head. The trick isn’t getting things to happen by magic, the trick is to make people think that you’ve done something by magic. That’s where “magic words” come in: you say things that sound mysterious and/or powerful, to get people thinking in terms of magical powers, and then they’re more likely to perceive the consequences as magical. (A lot of that still lingers today in the form of prayer.)
Or you manipulate the imagination in other ways, like creating images or sculptures of the object you hope to achieve. Grab some clay and shape it into the form of a very large, very pregnant woman. It’s magic! Now your wife will get pregnant. Paint some images of hunters chasing down their prey and bringing home lots of meat. Poof! The hunt will be magically successful. It looks like what you want to achieve, so it must have some kind of power to create reality just like it can create thoughts in your head. It’s magic!
Now look at the story in Genesis 1. The people who invented that story knew nothing about molecules or protein folding or electrostatic bonds or heredity or statistics or any of that advanced, modern, science-y stuff. There’s no way they could imagine a God capable of building the mechanisms of life into the actual natural laws of biology, and building life up from a deep and comprehensive understanding of biochemistry. Their God is the product of a primitive imagination that lacks this kind of understanding.
So the God of Genesis is limited to creating via primitive magic, speaking a few magic words, and (in the special case of creating Man) getting as “advanced” as shaping some mud into the form of what He wanted to create before resorting, once again, to primitive magic to produce the complicated stuff like turning mere mud into actual flesh and bone. Simple, straightforward, and entirely within the limits of an ignorant and superstitious imagination. Anything beyond that is too complicated for the old gods invented by men.
Thus we shouldn’t begrudge young-earth creationists their primitive Creation mechanisms. It’s the best they can do, given their myth’s human origins.