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Jan 15 2014

Do I get a special Atheist Prize for being Quote Mined by Ken Ham?

Well do I? I mean isn’t that the gold standard of having made it as a “professional atheist”? Is that not what separates rank amateur from Richard Dawkins? When Ken Ham badly quotes you?

And not just that! He’s also drumming up support using me to get his supporters into the pews.

But Ken is being naughty. No, not Naughty with a capital N which in his case would involve golden calves and realising that his book can be taken allegorical and that the world is older than 6000 years old. No Ken’s standard of Biblical adherence is so great that he seeks to personally ensure the sin of Adam and Eve is not repeated.

That is the entire purpose of his museum is it not? To uneducate? To create an absence of knowledge, to utilise wealth to portray his message of a 6000 year old planet Earth as an equal theory to the current cosmological model of the Universe? To ensure that hundreds of thousands if not millions of his fans grow up to believe that we got her by the application of magic rather than known scientific principles. That the entire sum total of progress in Biology from it’s days as a genteel “science” of flower pressing, shooting, taxidermy and insect collecting a little under 200 years ago to the robust science that it is today.

Ham is arguing from a position of strength, after all. I said it before and I will say it again. Children are born idiots. It’s a survival mechanism. See the world is still deadly, our tigers and leopards and jaguars are replaced with roads and household poisons. So we invent reasons why they do things. We invent small gods to make them behave. The beast under the kitchen sink, the witch who eats children who don’t eat their vegetables and the more benign ones such as Santa and the Tooth Fairies. They are all protective mechanisms.

The child must fear the road and the cabinet full of poison, those that do not die. This is evolution at it’s most cruel and effective. Over millions of years curious babies without a specific development probably perished in the maw of some beast.

Aged 4 to 5 months your child will probably be the most social being you can imagine, you will see them play with random strangers. Aged 9 months or so a change begins to happen. Your baby stops being social. A stranger picking up the child may cause the child to cry. If the child is able to move, it will crawl and hide behind you.

This is a evolutionary point, the child learns fear of the unknown because to not fear the unknown is to die. There were once great terrors out there that held plenty of danger for an adult human let alone a child. We call this stranger anxiety and it’s perfectly normal to develop and we see it in plenty of other apes. I suppose we develop it so slowly due to our large skulls requiring our comparatively premature births. The very behaviour of our children is due to evolutionary pressure. And evolution is a terrible pressure.

I have seen medical technology thrust life upon a child with no rooting reflex. I have seen cleft palates where the sucking reflex cannot be created (the cleft palate prevents the formation of a seal around the mother’s nipple. These once were grist to the progress of man. No more though, medicine has saved them. Medicine understood how they develop and what it needs to do to save these children.

And all because of an understanding of evolution. Biology is one of the most applied of all sciences, possibly because Biology has mainly existed during the period of the Scientific Method. And because prior to that most of the discoveries were mostly medical in nature.

Darwin’s discovery is the heart of biology, it’s the mechanism of transmission of life and it is how organisms are linked. It may not cure cancer but it allows you to experiment on mice knowing that humans work on the same principles.

And there are things allowed and possible due to evolution that Ken Ham’s followers use. How many diabetics and haemophiliacs believe in his anti-science while living on the product of evolutionary research? If evolution is mere theory then genetics is it’s hard evidence. It’s good enough to hang a man but not to prove the existence of evolution? Rather sad right?

Ah but back to Ham. See there is a little rule of common courtesy. When I quote a blog, I link to it. After all, I am profiting in a minute fashion even from Ken Ham, it’s only fair that you see the entire article in it’s purest of forms bereft of my commentary.

Ken did not refer to me by name nor did he link to my work.

It is considered polite to link to the blog and speak of the author when you quote his work. It is called attribution and it’s a basic courtesy.

To do otherwise is completely impolite. When I quote Ham, I linked to his work and his website. It is basic courtesy. I may not believe in his gods but I have the basic courtesy to respect his intellectual property.

And to utilise my work to drum up support for his Museum without the basic courtesy of doing the same for my blog is worse. Not only do I stand against the ignorance of his vapid and tasteless museum dedicated to crippling the education of children and a far cry from the Museums of my childhood but he is destroying any idea of wonder and genuine awe at amazing things. In Ken Ham’s world snakes are just snakes. There is no difference from one to the other.

I have not given permission for my work to be used to frighten his supporters into giving him money. Kids may go free as long as accompanied by a PAYING adult? It’s a money grubbing scheme and my words are being used for that.

If I am to be advertising for this charade of education and the creation of ignorance by people who can barely understand science then you will do me the decency of linking to the original post rather than portraying a quote mined mess.

It is called politeness and while there are no Biblical incentives to be polite, there is a human and social one and sadly for Mr. Ham we live in a human world where we observe societal niceties.

I read some comments on a secularist website recently about my February 4 debate with Bill Nye that reminded me once again how important it is to reach children with the truth of God’s Word.

Children must learn Ken Ham’s truth because the only people left out there who are gullible enough to believe him are the uneducated. Children by and large start off uneducated so are easy picking for his fairy tale. Particularly with the home-school movement where parents take the role of teachers without the skills or education themselves creating a complete dearth of education in the sciences.

On this blog I read:“Ken Ham is a luddite ——- [expletive deleted] who can barely understand Darwin let alone all the progress Evolutionary Theory and Biology has made since?” 

The Expletive Deleted can be seen here. Was it something good? Did I call Ken Ham a pidgeon chested mudwallower? A bounder, a cad and a thorough scoundrel? Did I call him a thorough scamp?

Well guess you have to go find out!

Oh fine! I called him a jackass. If jackass is an expletive one can only imagine the fainting couch and smelling salts required to rouse Ken Ham when he reads “MOTHER FUCKER”.

The joy of swearing is that it is unnecessary, it is a luxury in life. Like chocolate. Some indulge in it, some use it sparingly. It is never necessary but it makes life so much more pleasant.

So, I’m a “Luddite” (a person who is against technological progress). I apparently didn’t insist on using technology at the Creation Museum. (But if you have been here, you will see why even our critics say this is a high-tech place.) And I guess I have decided never to use the latest computer, cell phone, or tablet technology! (But I do, and I have our staff equipped with the best in technology.) 

Actually the original luddites just didn’t like machinery that would have put them out of a job. Ken Ham doesn’t like evolution being taught in schools because how else can he make money selling bullshit if not through ignorance?

The luddites were not men in rags wielding rocks but had guns and modern tools except for the machines that threatened to take their livelihood away. A single machine that could do in an hour what would take a dozen of them a week. They saw it as their doom and it was. Hand making of lace really died out except as an artform as did many of the other traditional cloth making skills. Most of them remained artforms rather than universal methods.

That tablet is an acceptable piece of technology because Ken Ham doesn’t know how it works and it does not threaten to rock his world view. If there was a saying about “man was never meant to fly”, Ken Ham would be decrying the Boeing 747 as the work of Satan and insisting aerodynamics is false.

This writer also stated:

“Ken Ham deals with superstition and fairytales and magic. You can demonstrate the most elegant proofs known to man and Ken and his audience will never get them. So to Bill Nye I have only one advice… Do not give that which is holy to dogs, do not cast pearls before swine lest they trample them and gore you. See Ken? I can quote scripture too.”

I quoted it in Greek too. I protest! You are not making me look threatening enough! See if you kept the Greek you could have derided my posh education in a Grammar School.

Well, such statements certainly are a reminder to pray for such lost people.

Don’t worry, I can think for all of you.

Fine, let us assume I am lost and Ken is found. I fear Ken did not link my post because I believe that Ken didn’t understand John Wycliffe. See Ken tried to make himself out as a martyr sticking to the “Truth” just like Wycliffe who he lauds.

Never mind the fact that Ken simply got the story wrong. John Wycliffe was never martyred. He died of a stroke, was buried and later dug up and given a show trial and cremated. The dead are rather bad at winning court cases, which is why we have a prosecutor and a state that prosecutes on behalf off the dead in some cases.

Never mind the fact that Ken’s lifestyle would be anathema to Wycliffe for it’s grand riches.

Never mind that Wycliffe would probably see more kinship with an atheist who helps others due to his belief in predeterminism something Ken would have found rather vile.

No, Ken. You cannot pretend to be the modern Wycliffe. Maybe the modern Heathcliffe. A fat, unfunny orange cat. But not a pre-Huss, Pre-Luther Protestant who wanted a papal return to poverty and to champion an early secularist stance. Something Ken Ham has specifically tried to avoid by the various attempts to enshrine his religious beliefs in science through state manipulation of textbooks.

Then this writer also wrote:

“Science does not progress by debate. Either Bill Nye has to be packing some serious debate firepower or Ham’s going to apply the Gish Gallop and there is literally no defense since it’s effectively vomiting fallacious information in such a volume that it’s impossible to refute …You literally are not going to change this person’s mind unless they suffer a crisis of faith. Ken Ham’s supporters are not going to change, their kids might but not his paying customers who are emotionally, monetarily and spiritually invested.”

Yes

It’s still true. Ken’s preaching to people who have paid vast amounts of money and whose entire lives don’t involve any work in Biology apart from maybe teaching. These are people whose social lives depend on not “understanding evolution”. These are people who paid money to “not understand evolution”. These are people who won’t understand evolution because they are told that understanding it is a sin on par with poking badgers with spoons.

They will not take the blindfold off because to see  is sinful.

While secularists want to reach children to brainwash them from a very young age in their evolutionary lies, they hate it when we attempt to reach children with the truth of creation and the gospel.

Yes, we should all teach kids that having sex with your twin is a sensible idea with no repercussions whatsoever.

No, we want children to stop being indoctrinated in a system of lies that cripples their future education and effectively rules them out from a scientific understanding of biology.

This year at the Creation Museum, we are promoting our “Kids 12 and under free” program. We understand the importance of teaching children with the truth before the secularists try to brainwash them with their pervasive lies. God’s Word reminds us to train up children in the truth—and not to forget to teach this generation and the next with God’s Word and equip them to defend the faith.

Free with a paying adult.

Not free, free with a paying adult. You make your money of the rubes who think you are going to educate your children.

I have a museum I would like to push too. Kids go free.

So do adults.

This secularist blogger has only inspired me even more to do our best to reach as many children as we can with the truth of God’s Word beginning in Genesis — and to share the gospel message. Please do your best to bring busloads of kids to the Creation Museum this year.

If the only way your truth can exist is by the suppression of science and evidence and the creation of ignorance and denial of a fair education to children then what you have is not the truth but a lie that needs to be protected from skeptics and science lest your flock realise that all you offered were lies.

So spread your ignorance, I am sorry for your children who have to endure an education where they are told the world is so small and that history is so minute. Their education would never lead them to learn of China or India or Egypt. To them the entire world centred around a tiny tribe in the Middle East. Lost are the Xia Dynasty of China (2100 BC) or the Indus Valley Civilisations (3000 BC) or Egypt (3200 BC). These were great civilisations with great achievements and to the likes of Ken Ham they never existed because they pre-date Noah.

Or even to ignore Megalithic cultures one of which was extant in the Israel-Palestine region. These pre-date any flood and the notion that the earth is just 6000 years old.

No, what Ken is doing is creating a very small world in a very small universe. in this small world little happens and your only goal is to follow a small book and think it’s the entire sum total of human knowledge. To Ken Ham ignorance is not just bliss but divine, it is why his followers and him proudly conflate Evolution with Cosmology and Abiogenesis.

There are far greater things out there than any gods. There are more incredible things in a single bacteria than in the nonsensical creationist belief of Ken Ham.

And if Ken thinks he is humble then remember that my view is that we are an intelligent ape, powerful thanks to our technology and understanding of scientific principle. On the vast scale of the planet we are but another force of nature to most living creatures and hence we should be responsible for our actions towards them as we are capable of massive  ecological changes. But we will only be mourned by those who love us. We have one life and it’s how we live that one that counts. There are no points given at the end for what we did, but there are points we earn for what we did when we live our lives. What’s the point of a delicious meal if it’s going to turn into shit?

The meal exists for that single moment of bliss caused by taste. Life is that moment where you briefly have consciousness and the intelligent chemistry that is you gets to experience all the things that come with life. There is no before, no after. Your carbon and your iron were consumed by your mother when  you were a foetus. Your size is due to those same elements being consumed by you. All our energy comes from the sun via photosynthesis.

Even the very elements that make us were forged in stars.

And  that is far more impressive and meaningful than “Magic did it”. Most moderate and progressive Christians realise this and  don’t invoke vast and meaningless interference from deities.

Not Ken Ham. For Ken Ham’s world to work you need an astonishing amount of interference. The like of which would have left a fingerprint or a scar that cannot be denied. There is no such thing. No branch of science that stands with Ham.

It doesn’t matter if Ham wins a debate against Bill Nye, all that means is Ham is better in debates. Evolution stands irrespective of how many debate victories Ham wins because Science progresses through evidence and experimentation and repeat experiments. Not by Bible Verse.

9 comments

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  1. 1
    richardelguru

    I think that is ‘A Special Atheist Prize’!

  2. 2
    blf

    I thought the prize was yer very own coconut-eating T. rex. Not a model. The real, breathing, stomping-about-the-place, creature.

  3. 3
    angharad

    Ah richardlguru you beat me to it. Also:

    No, Ken. You cannot pretend to be the modern Wycliffe. Maybe the modern Heathcliffe.

    Made me imagine Ken Ham stomping about the moors crying ‘Cathy!’

  4. 4
    doublereed

    The joy of swearing is that it is unnecessary, it is a luxury in life. Like chocolate. Some indulge in it, some use it sparingly. It is never necessary but it makes life so much more pleasant.

    Now that’s a quote! :D

  5. 5
    doublereed

    Actually I kind of want to change it to:

    The joy of swearing is that it is unnecessary, it is a luxury in life. Like chocolate. Some indulge in it, some use it sparingly. It is never necessary but it makes life so much more fucking pleasant.

  6. 6
    Ashley haworth-roberts

    Ham has done such before (sometimes he either identifies the blogger or provides a link, sometimes NOT).

  7. 7
    Cassie

    You can say that an animal is fascinating, and even that it is similar to other animals without it having had to evolve. Adapt, absolutely. Ham isn’t saying that science is invalid, he is telling a different way of it having come about. He is not anti science, he is against the timeline. Science should be about discovering truth, not sticking to something because it is a tradition. Carbon dating doesn’t work absolutely, so time cannot be absolutely dated with this method. Guessed at sure.

    I guess what I’m saying, is that I would like to see less hate toward someone with a different opinion than you. Just as Ham has looked in to and studied science, shouldn’t science look into some of his theories with an open mind? The bible is widely used for historical reference, allegorical references are made in the bible but in the context of parables, or noted as stories. In the scheme of things, no matter which historical timeline you believe in, humanity is too far from perfect to believe that we know the perfect history of our existence or all scientific fact.
    We only know what we know until we know something else.

  8. 8
    Avicenna

    Ham is suggesting the world is just 6000 years old. My ancestors come from a civilisation that predates his entire world view. It is like being told that prior to 1776 there was no Earth. It is an immensely Christian-Centric view of the world.

    Secondly? The science is on my side. Geology, Cosmology, Biology, Geography. All of those combine to support me.

    Thirdly? Human history itself predates Biblical History.

    Fourthly? Carbon Dating is pretty accurate. The only assumption is that the Earth has maintained a steady state production of Carbon 14. Should the Earth have made more Carbon 14? The world would be OLDER than what we have right now. If it made less? The laws of physics would have had to change and that’s not likely.

    You are suggesting that our dating techniques are wrong so that a 6000 year old Earth exists. As opposed to a 6 billion year old one. You aren’t promoting a view point that is in any way close to the value. As guesses go it is a lot more accurate.

    If you guess that the noise outside your window at night is the wind that is a sensible guess. If you guess tiger then it’s a guess that’s exotic. If you guessed bogeyman then the guess is simply superstition.

    What he has are not theories. A theory means supported by evidence and the Bible is no more evidence for Jesus than the Mahabaratha is evidence for Arjuna. Why must his gods be real while my old ones be fake?

    And I am in the business of dealing with humanity’s imperfections. A perfect human being without my care had a 1 in 10 chance of dying before their first year. A lot of my patients are puzzled.

    They don’t name their children until after they are born. Because they die so easily. They would be amazed by my friend in the UK who named and had a funeral for her stillborn child. Because in the west we have been accustomed to all our children making it thanks to doctors. In India? The changeover only happened recently.

    Ham has not studied ANY science. If he has then he would know what happens when you clone a human and then mate them. All you would get is incredibly genetic flaws.

    Every stage of Ken Ham’s history of the world requires a fantastic creature to exist that can void all known laws of the universe at whim.

    In greek plays when they wrote themselves into a corner, they could ask for a god to intercede. A machine would lower a statue of the appropriate god and they would solve problems for you that couldn’t be solved through rational means. It is called a Deus Ex Machina.

    Ken Ham needs that for his world view to exist. Every single difficulty is overcome by this system and it is just so clunky and inelegant and is so much more fantastic as an idea. And it would work had he any proof. So far his proof is reading a book that pretends to be moral and encourages slavery.

    What he promotes is not science but applied theology.

    And we are not perfect.

  9. 9
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