I have irked Ken Ham

I had no idea. Every few days to a week, Answers in Genesis puts out a youtube video called “Answers News”. It’s terrible. I watched all of this one.

They go through news stories and moan and groan about those dang secularists. There was a polyamorous marriage in Colombia — slippery slope! Gay marriage will lead to pedophilia. Rights are a Christian invention, you can’t talk about rights without accepting their version of Christianity. Canada just legislated gender theory into law — Georgia Purdom can be imprisoned if she doesn’t accept someone’s preferred pronouns, because it’s against her religion. There were brief snipes at various science papers, largely consisting of laughing at the idea that a fossil can be 50,000 years old, or 99 million years old.

One thing I learned, because I’d never listened to him before, is that Bodie Hodge is pretty damned thick. He kept interjecting explanations into the discussion: did you know that polyamorous is from a word meaning “many” and a French word for love? You gotta understand what the word “liberal” means: liberal means you’re taking liberties with things. It was nonstop dumbsplaining.

But mainly I listened because they spent about 5 minutes at the beginning talking about me. An atheist visited the Ark Park, shock horror, and he mocked everything. Ken has all my tweets printed out, and he was disgusted. How dare I say there wasn’t much information in the big wooden box? That seems to be what miffed them most. From the timing of my tweets, he calculated that I only spent an hour and 15 minutes in there, so I must have been racing through everything — why, when he personally takes groups through and explains everything, it takes about 2 hours to do the tour.

It sure felt like it was a lot longer than that — there was a lot of time spent slowly wending through ridiculously prolonged tours of empty boxes. But sure, I’ll believe it was objectively an hour and a quarter. I didn’t have to run to do that time though. It was more like a slow stroll, stopping at each room and display, and taking pictures. So once again, Ken Ham confirms my impression of the paucity of material in there.

He complains that I said the parking lot was ten times larger than it needed to be — it’s only twice as large, he said. No, that’s not true. I got there late in the morning, and got a parking spot right near the shuttle bus pick up, and sure drove a long way through empty spaces to get there.

About the weathered look of the outside of the ark — he says they intended it that way. OK. I guess grey is an attractive color.

Then Ken went searching through my blog for ways to psychoanalyze me. All atheists hate god, you know, and that can be traced back to some traumatic event that made them angry at god, so he singles out this post, Odious Christianity, in which I say that my father and my sister have died. A-ha! That must have made me hate god! But he completely misses the point of the post: it was that everyone suffers pain and loss in their life, but it takes a a Christian to turn that around and blame the victim. This is what enraged me: not god, not my grief, but that Ken Ham blames that pain on “sin”.

News items sometimes cite the major causes of death in humans as various diseases are discussed–but ultimately there’s only one cause–sin!

Yeah, everyone who has ever died, who has ever been in pain, deserved it. But don’t worry! All you have to do is believe in his hateful cult and you might die horribly for your sins, but you’ll be forgiven in your afterlife.

By the way, one problem with Ham’s diagnosis of my trauma is that I never believed in god, and became a self-aware atheist in my teens, long before those losses I mentioned.

Oh, well. One other thing I’ve now discovered is that there is actually a news panel show that is more stupid than Fox and Friends.


  1. What a Maroon, living up to the 'nym says

    So, PZ, there were only 7000 animals on the ark, and 1400 kinds.

    Also, you hate Xians and god.

    What have you got to say for yourself? Huh?

  2. Anna Granfors says

    I had no idea that Ken Ham was an Aussie! (I mean, Ken HAM sounds kind of Kentuckian, so I thought he was a native to KY., so to speak.) At the risk of sounding like the cretins on “Fox and Friends”, why doesn’t he sail the fucking “Ark” down to Australia?

  3. says

    But they say there are now 34000 extant species, which came from 1400 kinds only 4000 years ago. I know their goofy numbers just fine.

  4. Ichthyic says

    One thing that video clearly shows me…

    Ken Ham has far too much money for his own good.

    somebody should take some of it off him. He’s ripe for a con directed at him.

  5. Larry says

    And what do you know, their little round table discussions are no more accurate than their religion or their ark. The root of amorous, am, is, in fact, Latin, not French. The French word, amour, is obviously a derivation of the older Latin word. A simple 30 second wikipedia search would have revealed that little factoid. But why research something that he knows through movies and such.

  6. ironflange says

    Way to go, Myers, getting God pissed with you like that. Next time you get a pimple on your ass you’ll know where it came from.

  7. cartomancer says

    Admittedly “polyamorous” is one of those weird Greek-Latin hybrids, like Television or Monoculture, that causes those with a feel for the languages to take a step back and tut into their leather elbow-patches. Multiamorous or Polyerotic (Polyphilic? Polyagapic? the Greeks had several words for love) would be better.

    Mind you, if these guys can’t get their Deucalion World attraction right I’m not surprised that their etymologies aren’t up to snuff.

  8. rietpluim says

    It would be laughable if it wasn’t so annoying.
    Their arrogance is even worse than their ignorance.

  9. DLC says

    You know, if it were just them, sitting gleefully in their ignorance and cheering each other on as they shove their heads in the sand, I wouldn’t be bothered. But the problem is, they are actively attempting to recruit people to believe their supernatural bollocks, and worse yet they are attempting to gain political power with which to foist their superstitious nonsense on the rest of us.

  10. johnson catman says

    I did not (and do not plan to) watch the video posted above. However, the still that is present shows three very miserable looking people. Hating is their main motivation, and their targets are anyone and anything that does not conform to their worldview. I enjoy life too much to want to be like those sad people.

  11. robro says

    Ken isn’t making a strong case claiming their parking lots are only twice as big as they need, rather than PZ’s 10 times. Did they overestimate their attendance? Did a contractor friend get more money?

    There are drone fly-over videos of the Ark Experience parking lot.

    This video is from opening day (7/7…because Genesis 7:7) and has Ken Ham’s name on it.

    This video is from September 3, a Saturday, at 1pm. Just about the right time for the hordes to arrive after a leisurely morning drive, and stop for a bite to eat, from Cincinnati or Louisville. They don’t seem to have made it.

    This one is from September 2 at 3pm with lot fewer cars in the main lot.

    And this one is on a Sunday, August 8. The guy posting most of these notes “low turn out” on this one, but I’m surprised they are opened at all on a Sunday. Isn’t that a sin?

  12. Michael says

    Is it just me, or does Georgia always look like she has just been released after a particularly exhausting brain washing session?

  13. wcaryk says

    Yes, Anna Granfors, the Hamster’s an Aussie — which gives me an excuse to quote this:

    “In a blog post discussing the grand tradition of American hucksterism, I wrote of America as “the land of P.T. Barnum and Ken Ham.” A few people emailed to correct me on that. It turns out that Ken Ham, the man behind the Creation Museum and the anti-evolution organization Answers in Genesis, is originally from Australia and not the United States.
    Wait … hold on – did you say Australia? That can’t be right. You can’t be a young-Earth creationist and be from Australia. I think if you’re a young-Earth creationist, you’re not even allowed to believe in Australia. That entire continent is evolution’s playground, evolution’s showroom. Ken Ham couldn’t have built his Creation Museum in Australia because they already have a thriving Evolution Museum there – it takes up the entire island. The displays are fantastic.
    I can’t think of a less plausible place for a creationist to have come from. Well, OK … maybe Madagascar. But still. I just can’t fathom how someone could have lived in Australia believing the world is only 6,000 years old. There are all sorts of things you can’t do while believing that… but living in Australia would seem near the top of that list. The indigenous Australians have stories, dances and paintings that are far older than 6,000 years. They’ve got *jokes* that are older than that.”

    — Fred Clark, Long March of the Koalas: And other creationist adventures

  14. emergence says

    I became an atheist really early in my life. I’ve never experienced any life changing trauma, and I’ve only lost a single loved one a long time after I became an atheist. My mom is a liberal Protestant, and my dad is an atheist. They’re both loving parents, and they’ve never mistreated me. I just listened to both of them and found my dad’s arguments to be more convincing.

    There’s probably a minority of atheists who became atheists because of some sort of trauma, but I wouldn’t be surprised if most of those were from religious abuse by their parents or another authority figure. Religion being used to justify whipping you with a belt or blaming you for your own rape would justifiably turn you off of religion.

    I should also say that it’s pretty fucked up and slimy to try to psychoanalyze someone and make stuff up about their mental state based on a couple of blog posts. Internet cold reading just makes you look like an asshole.

  15. emergence says

    PZ @3

    Wait, only 34,000 species? Either that’s a typo or creationists are even dumber than I thought. That’s a fraction of the total number of species of beetles alone. Were beetles and other insects not on the ark or something? Are they only counting tetrapods? At any rate, wouldn’t members of some species have to literally give birth to another species for speciation to have occurred that fast?

  16. emergence says

    I think you can chalk the hyperspeed speciation thing up to another example of creationists thinking that they can fit the history of the world into less than 10,000 years by fast forwarding all of the natural processes that have shaped the world, even if that’s physically impossible or would have nasty side effects.

  17. rietpluim says

    That trauma thing is kind of ironic, given how much Christians love conversion stories of how people found Jesus after an addiction or a severe accident or the loss of a loved one, and how He helped them out.

  18. mnb0 says

    My unbelief is the result of a trauma indeed – as a 13 or 14 year old boy I was confronted with the horrendous atonement doctrine by two students from Youth for Christ: president Pinochet (it was the end of the 1970’s) going to heaven and his victims not. I never went over it.

  19. Chakat Firepaw says

    If a guided tour where the information is conveyed at the pace of speech and there has to be time alloted for things like questions, repeating things for people who haven’t heard, group wrangling, etc. takes ~2 hours, then 1.25 hours sounds about right for a reasonably fast reader to do it solo.

  20. rietpluim says

    Personally, I do hate Yahweh. If they existed I would be on Satan’s side. So if a christian apologist accuses me of hating God then I must admit that they are right. It makes no sense to hate something you don’t believe exists, but the non-sense is in the hating, not in the non-believing. Given all the atrocities in the Bible committed or commissioned by God, loving Him makes even less sense.

  21. rogerperitone says

    Bodie Hodge is far worse than even PZ realizes. When asked if it’s moral to lie to a nazi to save the life of a jew, this was his answer:

    Consider this carefully. In the situation of a Nazi beating on the door, we have assumed a lie would save a life, but really we don’t know. So, one would be opting to lie and disobey God without the certainty of saving a life—keeping in mind that all are ultimately condemned to die physically. Besides, whether one lied or not may not have stopped the Nazi solders from searching the house anyway.

    As Christians, we need to keep in mind that Jesus Christ reigns. All authority has been given to Him (Matthew 28:18), and He sits on the throne of God at the right hand of the Father (Acts 2:33; Hebrews 8:1). Nothing can happen without His say. Even Satan could not touch Peter without Christ’s approval (Luke 22:31). Regardless, if one were to lie or not, Jesus Christ is in control of timing every person’s life and able to discern our motives. It is not for us to worry over what might become, but rather to place our faith and obedience in Christ and to let Him do the reigning. For we do not know the future, whereas God has been telling the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10).

    Why even offer to hide them in the first place, if all the Nazi has to do is to ask politely?

    His odiousness is exposed even more here. When Hodge had heart trouble, did he take his own advice and “let christ do the reigning”? Nope. He went to a hospital for human intervention. He had a stent put in. Though of course, guess who/what gets the credit?

    Those assholes piss me off to my very core. I hope profanity is allowed here!