Thank You, Ken Ham

Thank you, Ken Ham—

“What would change your mind?” was the question… and Ken told viewers that the bible would stand up to critical examination. Thank you, Ken Ham.

My own pastor, back all those decades ago, was a true believer, one who believed that the most skeptical investigation will support the truth of the bible. It is, in part, because of the encouragement of my pastor, that I continued to question the things I had learned in the church. My pastor encouraged me not to believe the bible simply because he did, and because he said it was true; if the bible is true, you will be able to look at all the evidence—not just a cherry-picked subsample—and the story laid down in the geological record, the story laid down in the fossil record, the story laid down in the astronomical record, the story laid down in Genesis, will all, must all, agree.

It was in part because of my pastor that I am an atheist today. I thank Ken Ham for his earnest answer, because it will lead to more atheists.


  1. Cuttlefish says

    I do respect–earnestly and honestly–my pastor. Yes, he was wrong, but (unlike Ken Ham, who has had the information presented to him many times over) he did not have access to the information that disagreed with his world view. Everyone he asked (indeed, everyone he knew) agreed that the biblical account of creation (and everything else) was not only true, but was consistent with any and all evidence, and would always be consistent with good evidence. Don’t take my word–try for yourself! Check any source! Check the best sources!

    He was, I submit, a very good skeptic with very bad information available to him. I don’t know what would have happened if he had had access to the information I eventually came across. But I do know what I did with his advice. I explored. I sought. I found.

    And I became an atheist.

  2. Dana Hunter says

    Nice. Kudos to that pastor. I’m glad he got you started on the road that brought you here today, because I really love blogging on the same network as an atheist poet. ;-) More seriously, people like him, I can respect. And I wish there were more of them, but I suspect most of the current ones have either ended up in so-liberal-they’re-almost-agnostic churches, or are atheists themselves, and blessedly free of the confines of the church.

  3. Cuttlefish says

    Oh, my!… Dana, you flatter–I am overjoyed to share a network with you!

    The odd thing is, when I look at the people I *know*, as opposed to the people I read about, or hear about, or see on TV, or whatever… the Christian people I actually know (and I recognize that this may of course be a biased sample!) have been nearly 50% (might be above or below, I really don’t know) those who are actively questioning their belief (even though many of these are doing so in environments that confirm their belief rather than disconfirm it), or who are very much aware of the problems non-christians have with their articles of faith…

    On the other hand, there is my uncle, the engineer/biblical literalist, who very much represents the stereotype, although in my own experience he is very much a minority–even among believers!

    My parents, for instance, are Christians. They are not at all creationists–in fact, my mother taught high school biology, and taught evolutionary theory in the bible belt (aside: she found her students were more likely to admit they were related to cows–since they drank milk–than that they were related to monkeys; their belief was a function of what they were told in church, not in any evidence)… I don’t really think my parents think of Jesus as divine; they are tribal Christians, those who say the right things, not the wrong things, and take care of those who are members of their tribe. Frankly, the vast majority of Christians are not Ken Ham Creationists.

    Good and bad.

    Ham clearly believes things that are easily shown to be batshit wrong. Most christians, though, can dismiss this as not being representative of their own beliefs.

    The trick is, Ham is a liar–not just to atheists, but to the vast majority of Christians. But… will they call him out?

  4. rq says

    … And I get to cruise a blog network where you both appear. Talk about privilege! ;)

    But yes, Cuttlefish, I think you’re right re: the Bible and scrutiny. The more people that attempt to solidify their faith by looking for evidence in the Bible – and then go looking for statements to be refuted by this biblical evidence – the better. The greater the chance that at least a few of them will experience and acknowledge the wider world (and science within it).

  5. says

    Actually, Ham admitted that nothing would change his mind. As far as I’m concerned, that was the defining moment of the debate, and I’m surprised that Nye didn’t jump all over that. Still, good on Nye for pointing out that, not only can he be persuaded by evidence, but going out of his way to point out 6-8 examples of specific evidences that, if discovered, would compel him to change his position.

    The fact that Ham admitted that no possible discovery, no possible evidence, could ever change his mind is the single most salient takeaway from that debate.

  6. colnago80 says

    Re kacyray @ #5

    Reminds me of an excerpt from a commentary by Richard Dawkins on Kurt Wise.

    Whatever the underlying explanation, this example suggests a fascinating, if pessimistic, conclusion about human psychology. It implies that there is no sensible limit to what the human mind is capable of believing, against any amount of contrary evidence. Depending upon how many Kurt Wises are out there, it could mean that we are completely wasting our time arguing the case and presenting the evidence for evolution. We have it on the authority of a man who may well be creationism’s most highly qualified and most intelligent scientist that no evidence, no matter how overwhelming, no matter how all-embracing, no matter how devastatingly convincing, can ever make any difference.

  7. Synfandel says

    Am I the only FtB reader who never had to escape from religion? These blogs tend to feel like AA meetings, where everyone is recovering from something. Perhaps the discussions here are of more interest to the ex-religious than to the never-were-religious.

  8. Cuttlefish says

    There are a handful around, Synfandel–and more every generation–but with a majority-religious culture, the odds favor ex-religious at present.

    It will be a wonderful day when FtB is disbanded because we no longer need to rally around this characteristic, and can focus on other hobbies instead.

  9. wills says

    Can’t/WON’T these ‘believers’ at least attempt to ‘get behind the spark’ on your narrative? We’re being judged – and sent to eternal punishment in HELL – For NOT believing an UNBELIEVABLE STORY??!?? A power/being who made a universe 13.6 BILLION years ago – something we can never fully comprehend – Decides the ONE TIME he ‘shows himself’ – is to desert nomadic tribes, in the middle east, on some tiny rock planet, on the outer edge of one of billions of galaxies, thousands of years BEFORE our ability to VERIFY?!? Right alongside all of the other saviour-gods wannabees who were part of everyday life in that part of the world at that period? WHAT A COINCIDENCE!..:-) Then, your perfect-god gives us a book laden w/ riddles, rape, genocide and contradictions which suffers through countless translations, explanations, political pressures (Ecumenical Council, etc)?!? Why-Oh-WHY can’t He – GOD – simply BE CLEAR? And (not so) FUNNY: All these religions have hair-raising similarities: BLOOD Sacrifice, VIRGINS & BS rules which cannot be applied to REALITY (see Leviticus!). As noteworthy: Whether Islam, Christianity, Mormonism, etc – Funny how god ONLY speaks to ONE SINGLE Dude – Joseph Smith/Paul/Moses (etc) Out there all by himself – No witnesses, no verification – “Just take me at my word, easy right?” Why can’t “GOD” just say what needs to be said – to ALL of us, so we’re ALL on the same page? Instead of hiding behind some opaque screen of hide and seek? And as modern times evolve (complete w/ video cameras, etc) and superstition recedes: SO HAVE ALL OF THOSE ‘miracles’ – Coincidence?!? Why can’t you people simply spell ‘god’ – WITH TWO “Os”? Easy/Peasy!
    Finally: If god knows what is/was/will be – WHY then did the very FIRST people he made SCREW EVERYTHING UP?!? He didn’t ‘see that coming’? Yes, we’re ‘imperfect’ – but according to YOUR fable, HE made us that way – Yet WE get the blame for his game of ‘Dare You’ over some fruit?

    Either you devolve into ‘We can’t understand HIS WAYS..” – OR – You believers indeed ‘get behind the spark’ and come to terms with this MAN-MADE FANTASY, just like all the others – and probe deeper into your being to find a means to manifest the GOODNESS you’d like to see in this world. Goodness – for a ticket to heaven? If your goodness is ‘for sale’ then it’s PROSTITUTION, so lose that ulterior motive! As for god and being good? Just CUT OUT THE MIDDLEMAN

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