The agnostic creationist

I thought this was interesting. Here’s Ken Ham’s response to the question, “What, if anything, would ever change your mind?”

Well, the answer to that is, I’m a Christian, and as a Christian I can’t prove it to you, but God has definitely shown me very clearly through His Word, and He has shown Himself in the person of Jesus Christ, that the Bible is the Word of God…

No, no one is ever going to convince me that the Word of God is not true.

Or in other words, Ken Ham is never going to be able to genuinely know whether the Bible is true or not. He’s like a broken watch that says it’s 2:45 no matter what time it is. Nothing is ever going to be able to get him to say it’s not 2:45. Ask him what time it is, and after he answers, you still won’t know what the correct time is, because his answer is not tied to the current time. And likewise, there’s no point in asking him whether or not the Bible is really true, because his answer will be completely unrelated to the truth. Evidence, facts, reality itself, are all powerless to change what he says, and therefore his faith can never accurately reflect the state of the evidence, the facts, and reality itself.


  1. says

    It’s a beneficial exercise to ask oneself: What would convince me that some particular thing I believe is false? The “thing” in question might be evolution, or atheism, or that the earth is round, or homeopathy is bunkum, or whatever. And truth be told, I have a very hard time imagining what would change my mind on any of those topics — but that’s because those ideas have already passed all the obvious tests, and it’s difficult to come up with new possible evidence (or new ways of putting together existing evidence) that would tilt the epistemic balance the other way. (And to make it more difficult: the new paradigm should also explain how we got it so wrong in the first place).

    But the point is: I am willing, in principle, to have my mind changed on any or all of the things I now believe — tell me what I don’t yet know; explain to me how to re-arrange my picture of the universe so it makes more sense than the picture I have today. My resistance is purely pragmatic. Ham, by contrast, is unwilling to grant even that much: his book is true, his God exists, his creationism is an accurate of natural history by definition, and all else must be accommodated to it, at whatever violence to the evidence and logic.

    • says

      There is also a pragmatic reason Ken Ham won’t change, is that his livelihood depends on delivering creationism meme.

      “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”
      ― Upton Sinclair, I, Candidate for Governor: And How I Got Licked

  2. says

    I have read the Bible and I’m pretty sure Jesus doesn’t say the Bible is the word of God. Because a fair chunk of the Bible happens after Jesus has no more speaking lines.

    That’s one hugely irritating thing about fundies – they can’t separate the Bible from Christianity.

    following Jesus = Christianity
    following the Bible = ??Bibleanity?? =/= Christianity

    • mikespeir says

      Of course, “following Jesus” is a little hard to define if what the Bible says about him and what he said is left out of the conversation.

  3. N. Nescio says

    @2: Personally, I occasionally like to argue to fundie friends/family that such a focus on the Bible and Biblical Literalism is idolatry – putting the book before the Spirit and all. The results are often amusing (to me).

  4. MistarX says

    ‘Or in other words, Ken Ham is never going to be able to genuinely know whether the Bible is true or not.”

    Athiest here, that is not what you had quoted. It is the exact opposite. We, in debate with persons will have our words twisted, lets us not do that to them. He is standing on his blind faith, though it is a money maker for him, he states that his opinion is, he does genuinely believe because the magic genie said it to him.

    • Deacon Duncan says

      Hi, MistarX, welcome to the blog. I think you may have misread what I wrote, since I never said I was quoting him when I drew my conclusions about what his position implies. I’m simply saying that choices have consequences. His inability to know whether Genesis is true comes directly from his refusal to consider any evidence that would prove it is not. Bill Nye’s conclusions are credible, and constitute genuine knowledge, precisely because they reflect the actual nature of the evidence, and can change as new evidence becomes available.

  5. One Day Soon I Shall Invent A Funny Login says

    Ken Ham is utterly committed to conservative christian theology. He has made it central to his life, to his personal image, to his public career, and not least important, his business plan. He knows that the crux of christian doctrine is the Atonement, the idea that Jesus’s suicide was the only means by which man and god could be reconciled. Foundational to that is the Fall, the idea that there were two literal first persons who turned their backs on god’s bounty and — as Ham explicitly said a couple of times in the debate — allowed all types of misery and pain, and even the meat-eating habits of lions(!) into the world.

    The concept of continuous evolution of man, with no single moment at which mankind became “accountable” and could sensibly reject god, threatens the idea of a Fall. If there is no Fall, there is no need for Atonement; no Atonement, and all of christian theology collapses into a heap of platitudes.

    This is why Ham absolutely cannot ever acknowledge evolution, or its enabling idea of an old earth: it would in his view destroy the foundations of the belief that is central to his life. He will do, say, and most importantly think whatever is necessary to repel those ideas.

    That said, I cannot account for his insistence on defending also the Noachian flood. It is not essential to the Fall/Atonement story. I suppose he sees it as part of upholding the literal historicity of Genesis that is necessary for the Fall story.

    • says

      I suppose he sees it as part of upholding the literal historicity of Genesis that is necessary for the Fall story.

      That is exactly it. AiG’s “1:1” logo and motto “Upholding the Word of God from the very first verse” make that quite clear. It’s all or nothing: if you can’t trust all of it, you can’t trust any of it. Very black and white thinking.

  6. roxchix says

    reading through Ken Ham’s facebook over the last couple of days (which, for once, is kind a hoot, in a hand-to-head kind of way, because there is no way they can keep up with deleting everyone’s posts like they apparently usually do), I can see how, in their minds, that is a feature, not a bug.

    People there want that certainty, they want that absolute assurance. That is one of the needs the movement fills for people.

  7. aziraphale says

    “No, no one is ever going to convince me that the Word of God is not true.”

    That’s sort of reasonable. If God is defined as a perfect being, then if he existed and gave us his words, those words would very likely be true.

    The problem, of course, is deciding which (if any) of the world’s scriptures are God’s words. Ham might like to consider the reverse inference: if a scripture contains demonstrable falsehoods, it cannot be the Word of God.

    • says

      if a scripture contains demonstrable falsehoods, it cannot be the Word of God.

      He has — hence his fanatical insistence on the literal accuracy of Genesis (I’ll leave it for more moderate Christians to argue with him the question of whether Genesis might still be “true” in some non-literal sense).

  8. dwerbil says

    Deacon, the thought just crossed my mind your response to Ken Ham reads like you’re describing a used-car salesman. One could say they’re both in the same league. (apologies to those if there’s any used-car salesmen here),

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *