Stop kicking yourselves, Australians

On the eve of the Bill Nye/Ken Ham debate, it’s nice of the Secular Coalition of Australia to apologize for sending Ken Ham to us. But, to be honest, I cannot accept the apology. Ken Ham’s ideas were forged in the crucible of raging American fundagelicalism — he has explicitly credited The Genesis Flood: The Biblical Record and Its Scientific Implications by Whitcomb and Morris as his inspiration for the idiocy he promotes, and it really is the bog-standard Young Earth Creationism formulated in the 1960s by frustrated American creationists who were trying to appropriate scientific respectability for their religious cause. So we are ultimately responsible for poisoning the entire planet with this nonsense (you aren’t alone, either; Turkish creationism is really just regurgitated bilge from The Genesis Flood, too).

I do think the Australian suggestions for what Bill Nye ought to do to Ken Ham to be possibly acceptable, however — if only someone could translate them into English.

So on Tuesday, when you’re roasting the Ham and his patently ridiculous ideas on the rotisserie of logic, tell him you’ve got a message from Australia. Tell him from us that we used his state-issued Akubra hat to cover a hole in the national chookhouse shed, that he is no longer entitled to use his formal Australian name (Kenno) and that he is now forbidden any Tim Tams – ever again. Also, that whenever his name comes up at Christmas, while we sit around drinking white wine in the sun, there will be a formal awkward silence of twenty to forty seconds, until someone brightly offers everyone pudding. And if you could manage to kick him in the shins and tell him and his ilk to leave our kids alone, Bill – we’d owe you one.


  1. cottonnero says

    You can be a sanctimonious lying grifter in your own country, but (like baseball) the big leagues are in the US.

  2. octopod says

    I LOL’d at this part:

    “We, the people of Australia, have allowed our zealots to escape to your fair shores. It’s not just Ham, either. Fine specimens like Gary Bates, who left for the forgiving climes of Georgia, still manages to send his tentacled pods back over the Pacific and feed our kids rubbish about how the earth is only 6000 years old – a particular head-scratcher for our Indigenous population, whose families have been here since 50,000 BCE. I mean, talk about breathtakingly rude.”

    But your point is taken: the 20th-century global export trade in creationist nonsense did start from the U.S. Blaming ‘Straya for it at this point is like blaming Japan for baseball.

  3. medivh says

    Well, if we’re going down the extremely harsh route of denying Tim Tams, we should withhold the Mint Slices as well. An Australian without access to Mint Slices… that’s a long, slow, cruel death.

  4. moarscienceplz says

    I looked up Akubra and was informed that it is a brand of iconic Aussie hats. However, the pictures of them showed not a single one with its brim pinned up on one side, so that can’t be true.

  5. black berry says

    To those folk in Oz, ….but you did send the rest of us Tim Minchin?…all is forgiven!

  6. says

    I once did a job for a client in Australia who paid me in TimTams.

    I thought I got the better of the deal, honestly. And now they have TimTams in the stores here in Canada, and my life is a complete and happy place again.

    For those in the UK unfamiliar with the delights of TimTams, they’re Penguins, only with slightly better chocolate, and somewhat larger. Both are excellent, though.


  7. CaptTu says

    I just figured that Ham was payback for Australia ended up with Meryl Dorey. Of the soon to be renames AVN.

  8. simonstephenson says

    Well, an Akubra is a felt hat, made of rabbit fur; it is the Australian equivalent of the Stetson, the hat that jackeroos (and jilleroos) wear out on the spread. It does not have a curled-up brim because that is for infantrymen, so they can shoulder rifles without knocking their hats off. A chookhouse is a shed for chickens. And Tim Tams are chocolate biscuits coated in chocolate; the idea is to bite off opposite corners, dip it into hot coffee and suck, then try to get the whole thing into your mouth before it collapses into chocolaty ooze. Pudding is dessert. And any reference to kicking someone in the shins suggests that you would prefer to aim slightly higher up, an area otherwise known as the goolies, nadgers or cobblers. Is that all clear?

  9. says

    Those Australians, so practical!

    I don’t know. I tried to open an envelope with an Australian once, and he wasn’t nearly sharp enough.

    Anecdata, of course. I did get one to unlock a door for me once, so they do have their uses.

  10. says

    Pudding may be generic dessert in some cases, though it sounds a bit English to me. I like the old-fashioned “afters”. But in this case, it’s specifically intended to be Christmas Pudding.

    Tim-tams are also available in various flavours, some of which come and go with the seasons and the fads. But the dark choc ones have stayed and they are my fave. You can also do a Tim-tam slam with Baileys or Bundy instead of coffee, if you feel the need.

  11. says

    Tim-Tam slams are the best thing ever. They work best with hot beverages like milky tea or coffee, but they also work with cold milk or, as Alethea suggested @ 12, very sweet booze (Bundy, for the uninitiated, is a dark rum native to Queensland, just like Hambo).

    FYI everyone: the hats with the turned-up brim are called slouch hats. It’s always the left-hand side of the brim that’s upturned (military slouchies have a little clip to keep them up there) because, like more or less everywhere else, Aussie soldiers shoulder arms to the left.

    Finally, in case anyone is wondering what an Akubra hat looks like, if you’ve seen Wolf Creek you will have seen Mick Taylor wearing one (if you’re advanced in years, you may recall Greg Norman wearing one on the golf course or Paul Hogan sporting one with croc teeth in the band).

    Back to Kenny: as PZ mentioned, he might have hatched here, but he suckled on US-brand craziness. We’re not devoid of our own Bible-bashers down here, but (a) they’re mostly aping their US fundie cousins and (b) we simply don’t have a target-rich environment comparable to the US. With only 22-ish million people, we’re less than 10% of the US population; there’s also a far higher proportion of our population that finds evangelists and happy-clappers distasteful. Because of that I’ve long suspected Hambo made an economic decision to move to the States, rather than an ecumenical one.

  12. gardengnome says

    So is Hambone an American citizen now, like Murdoch? I’ve always wondered how he’s allowed to operate in the US.