You might have wondered, like I did, how Ken Ham was going to deal with the revelation that his prize Allosaurus specimen was the gift of a freaky neo-Confederate crank. We now know: he’s going to ignore it indignantly.
Rachel Maddow had a segment on the allosaur, the creationists, and the neo-Confederate. She makes some good points: why is this kook being given tax incentives to build another pile of bullshit in the state of Kentucky? How can they claim that this ancient fossil supports their claim of a young earth? And what about Michael Peroutka? Watch it yourself and see.
Ken Ham calls that “Rachel’s Rant”, and claims that she was
obviously upset and angry, but, in reality, she is angry at God. I don’t know about you, but what I saw was Maddow laughing at the folly of Answers in Genesis. He only tries, feebly, to reply to two of her points.
He declares that
no Kentucky taxpayer money is being used to construct the Ark Encounter, but that is a claim no one made. Maddow says quite clearly several times that the Ark Park has been given $43 million in tax incentives — that is, Answers in Genesis has been exempted from a requirement to pay taxes on their for-profit enterprise, and will also receive rebates on sales taxes. So all Ham has done is rebut a claim that Rachel Maddow did not make.
Maddow mentioned how dinosaur fossils ought to be awkward for creationists — they’re millions of years old, and these loons claim the earth is only about 6,000 years old. Ham’s answer: Nuh-uh, nope. That’s it. He has declared by fiat that the fossil allosaur is only 4500 years old, ignoring all the evidence, so therefore it’s no problem for creationists. It’s remarkable how many problems they solve by closing their eyes very, very tightly.
What about Peroutka, and the association of their “museum” with a treacherous racist neo-Confederate and political weirdo? That gets one sentence. One dismissive sentence.
In one part of her rant, she uses a sleazy tabloid approach in her attempts to bring disrepute to creationists.
He will not dignify the facts with a response, apparently, and my, but isn’t it rude of this woman to reveal the actual facts behind the donation?
Deny, deny, deny…pretend the facts aren’t out there. It’s the standard creationist play.
Neil Rickert says
I’m not at all surprised.
Ken Ham comes from Queensland, the one part of Australia that had slavery.
Rock Doc says
I’ve got full access to a geochronology lab here in Australia. We’d be happy to take the fossil off his hands and analyze it for him!
“Alienate not your base.”
A Coelo Usque Ad Centrum
“The bones speak as I say they speak.”
Actio De Dolo Mano
ah, but that’s where the scam really comes in… it deliberately hides the fact that in these scams, it’s not the money to develop the park itself that is at issue… it’s the money used to do things like build and improve roads leading to the area, add new power infrastructure, etc.
what happens is that real-estate-specultors-cum-legislators buy up land in undeveloped areas at pennies on the dollar, and promote scams like this so they can use public dollars to improve the areas AROUND the proposed project.
the land becomes more valuable, profit is made from the sale of it, then, when the project inevitably falls through, they say “well, we tried.” and walk away with the cash.
this is an OLD scam.
If Mr. Ham’s enterprise is collecting sales tax and then being allowed to keep some or all of it, and not being required to pay state taxes (” Answers in Genesis has been exempted from a requirement to pay taxes on their for-profit enterprise, and will also receive rebates on sales taxes.”), then, in fact, taxpayer money IS being used. Certainly, if I make a purchase in their gift shop and they charge me sales tax, and then that tax does not go to the state of Kentucky, they are using taxpayer money. If I am a resident of the state and have to pay additional taxes, licenses or fees to make up for the taxes they are not paying, they are using taxpayer money. Mr. Ham is not disingenuous (the polite term usually used in this situation); he is a flat-out liar. And a thief, of course.
The unctuous drivel and the sleaze are strong with ol’ Hambo, that’s for sure. I’m sure that Rachel Maddow stung him with her revelation that he is in bed with a neo-Confederate white supremacist who loves to sport the Confederate battle flag on his shirts while making public appearances.
Ham and the other twits at his roadside show masquerading as a “museum” need to be verbally hammered on their association with neo-Confederate racists.
PZ, you’re being very uncharitable to Mr. Ham. He is not ignoring any facts (just ask him, he’ll tell you so himself); rather, he merely has a different interpretation of those facts than you do. Mr. Ham would surely not deny that Mr. Peroutka has made at least one statement which, if taken at face value, could arguably constitute support for the hypothesis that Mr. Peroutka is a racist neoConfederate scumbag, and likewise, Mr. Ham would surely not deny that Mr. Peroutka has at least one relationship with a racist neoConfederate scumbag organization which, again if taken at face value, could arguably constitute support for the hypothesis that Mr. Peroutka is, himself, a racist neoConfederate scumbag. Mr. Ham is merely interpreting those undeniable facts differently than you do, and I am quite confident that Mr. Ham would attribute your (highly offensive, if not downright libelous) interpretation of said undeniable facts to the godless, unChristian presuppositions to which you adhere.
As if anyone ever needed to use any kind of approach at all to bring disrepute to creationists. Ah, they never fail to entertain with their indignation.
Doesn’t the whole creationist bit implicitly endorse racism?
What with that, you know, that one son of Noah that wandered off into Africa, not like his good sons…
Wasn’t that one of the (many…) reasons people claimed that slavery was A-OK?
IIRC, PZ posted a picture from his own tour of the Creationism museum, depicting the Curse of Ham (AKA the “Curse of Canaan” — Gen. 9:20-27) as the reason why some people have darker skin. If you have a “museum” “exhibit” “proving” that dark skin comes not from Africans developing more melatonin in their skin, but from being marked by God as inferior beings who must submit to the will of others, then association with racist Confederate cranks really isn’t much of a stretch.
Far more interesting is the story about the dinosaur and its discovery which Rachel didn’t talk about.
One lying crazy creationist on top of another.
Johnny Pez says
These ladies are so emotional! Not calm and rational the way men are. That’s why it was a mistake giving them the vote.
Is it just me or is there an actual link to the Maddow story in this post? I had to go to Ham’s site to watch it:’-(
It may be because she said one time at 2:31-2:37
that his statement in response response to Maddow
would be rebutting a claim that she actually made.
On another note from Ham’s website linked to above he says
It would seem to me that any taxpayer money that goes into infrastructure for the park, without the park paying it’s fair share of taxes, would be a form of taxpayer subsidy.
I’m confused. Ken knows these bone are only 4500 years old because he was there or because it says so in the bible?
When Ken goes home after work and tells his wife about the stuff he’s written on his website they laugh and laugh and laugh – and marvel that they can sell such tripe and such a high price.
I have the same opinion of Ken Ham as everyone else here, but I’m a little uncomfortable using guilt by association tactics. Yes, it’s amusing that one of his backers is a confederate racist, but it’s not like there aren’t plenty of unsavory atheists. That’s basically a form of ad hominem, and Ken Ham’s arguments should rise or fall on their own merit.
Rachel Maddow is rapidly approaching the status of “National Treasure”.
There are plenty of unsavory atheists, but as you probably know, PZ takes efforts to distance himself from them. That’s all that’s required. There will always be bad people in any group, but the group as a whole is judged by whether it distances itself from them, pretends not to notice them or actively embraces them. Ken Ham is somewhere between the second and the third approach which makes him guilty by association.
And rightly so.
eeyore@17: What alexanderz@19 said. Also, Ham has consistently argued that Creationists are more moral than evolutionists, on account of JESUS. Therefore Ham makes his personal morality a relevant point, so pointing out where Ham’s personal morality is lacking is a valid critique of Ham’s Creationist position.
Rey Fox says
43 million dollars of lost revenue, to be more exact.
twas brillig (stevem) says
Oxymoron: e.g. ‘Creationism Science’
I mean: The creationists; both deride science, while labeling all their …nonsense… as “Science”. As discussed in the other “allosaurus” thread; they claim absolute proof that this fossil was found completely intact, from an instantaneous flood, and not bones scattered all over then reassembled like normal paleontological finds. But refuse to preserve any evidence of exactly where the bones were found and how they were precisely arranged. Yet another example of claiming to be scientific while not doing any of it (or actively destroying it, i.e. “cleaning” the fossils, removing all the evidence of the soil it was buried in and not keeping the soil to examine later).
SC (Salty Current), OM says
I’m amazed at the consistency with which religious people and apologists misread or misrepresent the tone of critics, especially describing it as angry even when it plainly isn’t. Is it that they lose basic comprehension in this area, or is this just a trope they use in some strange attempt to discredit people?
The other thing about the “angry” characterization is that in addition to being false is that even if it was true it doesn’t change anything. Being angry about something isn’t bad and calling out others anger doesn’t score you any points.
If you do something wrong or stupid my being upset about it or not doesn’t do anything to reduce the amount of wrong or stupid you are.
Abraham Van Helsing says
I notice that Ken put the specimen securely under glass so that no rogue scientist can sneak a sample and do some real science. The whole creationist mindset is about erecting a thin veneer of faith/bad science/fallacy to make the faithful feel that they don’t need to dig deeper. Ken is one of the self-appointed guardians of the veneer.
Lynna, OM says
Maddow segment link, for your convenience:
thelifeofbrine @24 – it’s the playground rhetorical strategy of “U mad, bro?”
I and others have been commenting here as well by the way (I did so before seeing this latest Myers blog about Mr Ham):
S K says
Actually, Maddow said on her program that AIG would “build” the ark using state tax incentives. Listen at about 1:55 into her segment. She is wrong—the incentive instead is a possible rebate of sales tax when the park opens and collects sales tax.
Ken Ham is accusing P Z Myers of not telling the truth: