Who will replace Ken Ham?

Calm down, he’s not dead yet. At his age, though, he’s probably contemplating his future successor. Bodie Hodge, his son-in-law, is a blithering goober, and the other people at the top of his organization are women, so naturally they’re out of the running. Andrew Snelling, Terry Mortenson, Danny Faulkner? Negative charisma. Tim Chaffey? He’s tall, that’s about it. Nathaniel Jeanson? An insufferable twit.

Apparently, Ken has been recruiting back in the homeland of Australia, and he has landed a real winner: Martyne Iles. He’s perfect. He’s young. He’s loud. He’s a confirmed hater: he doesn’t want anything to do with the gays or the transes, he despises the idea of climate change, he hates commies. He’s a cerfiable culture warror, and his ideology lines up nicely with Ken Ham’s.

And now he’s been hired as Chief Ministry Officer for Answers in Genesis.

Also interesting: he was formerly the Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby, but he was kicked out. The apparent cause was that the ACL, under his leadership, was flopping badly. Australians kept passing those danged liberal laws anyway. He was ineffective and obnoxious.

The ACL grew rapidly under Iles – its membership tripled, Iles said – but its size wasn’t the board’s problem. It was struggling for political impact. In a few short years, it recorded losses on virtually every single key issue: same-sex marriage was legalised in 2017, just months before Iles took the post; almost every state in the country has loosened laws on abortion and voluntary assisted dying; and major steps against gay conversion therapy have been made in Victoria, WA and NSW. And faced with the potential for a multi-term Labor government that saw the group as – at best – irrelevant, the Australian Christian Lobby needed a major strategic reset.

So now he has left Australia to a country that if more favorable ideologically. He’s just like Ken Ham!

They have one other thing in common: they’re both abominably stupid. Here’s Iles’ “evidence for god”.

No one ever thought that intricacy could come out of simplicity or that order could come out of chaos in anything except creation.

Also, beautiful sunsets. Fanaticism and banality, such a great combination.

It’s a match made in heaven.


  1. says

    So Dumb Idiot Ham’s successor is Mr. Mentally ILLs. To Dumb Idiot Ham, he’s a good choice. Being both mentally ill is what both of these men have in common.

  2. says

    Where else but Queensland. Its Australia’s equivalent of the Deep South except, since its in the southern hemisphere, its called the Deep North. It has a reputation for producing monumentally corrupt conservative politicians and is the only state where the teaching of “flood geology” was briefly mandated in government schools. Ham and Iles are our revenge for giving us the Hellsong megachurch which was patronised by our former Prime Monster.

  3. Pierce R. Butler says

    Bodie Hodge, his son-in-law, is a blithering goober…

    How does that disqualify him?

  4. Dan Phelps says

    I’ve noticed Bodie Hodge, Georgia Purdom, Gabriella Haynes, and a few other AiG regulars, haven’t been too active lately. Also, they didn’t do the usual “Answers News” broadcast on Monday. Is there anything going on?

  5. robro says

    Dan Phelps @ #7 — You noticed? I feel blessed that I barely see anything about them except here.

    As for what happened to them…perhaps the rapture happened and they’ve been taken up. If so then I’m in rapture for them and for the rest of us to be rid of them.

  6. Rich Woods says

    @Dan #7:

    Also, they didn’t do the usual “Answers News” broadcast on Monday. Is there anything going on?

    In the ‘Night of the Long Knives’ sense?

  7. says

    No one ever thought that intricacy could come out of simplicity or that order could come out of chaos in anything except creation.

    Actually, I remember hearing some other religions’ creation stories that include just that: simple chaos calming down, and plants and animals starting to grow out of the barren ground. So, yeah, this guy’s a idjit.

  8. raven says

    No one ever thought that intricacy could come out of simplicity or that order could come out of chaos in anything except creation.

    Actually, we see exactly that every day.

    It’s even relevant for this time of year. I’m doing it right now.
    Plant a few seeds in your garden. Water and wait.
    A small seed turns into a large cabbage, corn plant, zucchini, etc.. in a few months. Wait longer and a small seed can grow into a redwood or sequoia.

    The same holds true for animals.
    Two microscopic gametes fuse and turn into squids, spiders, whales etc..

    That is in fact how all us humans got here.
    We all started as two microscopic gametes and 9 months later, a 6 pound baby was born and then an adult. Noteworthy, part of us are the complicated human brain with 100 trillion synapses.

    This is a huge amount of intricacy coming out of a far simpler system.
    And, no gods or spirits are needed.

    All Martyne Iles has to do is look in a mirror to figure that out.

  9. wzrd1 says

    Well, congratulations to both them and their organization! May his monumental successes in his homeland be equally well represented here.

    Yes, I’m not above giving a left handed compliment, knuckles and all.

  10. chrislawson says

    Raging Bee@11–

    Also worth pointing out that this argument was known to be flawed — it leads to an infinite regress problem — since at least David Hume (and there are glancing approaches as far back as Aristotle). Educated idiots like William Lane Craig spin unsupported bullshit arguments to pretend they’ve answered the problem. Uneducated idiots like AiG don’t even acknowledge it.

  11. nomdeplume says

    Under right wing governments since 1996 (and not resisted by the left wing government of 2007 – 2013) Australia has seen a vastly increased number of religion-based schools and home “education”. This chap is the kind of result that was intended.

  12. chrislawson says

    About ten years ago the ACL had a brief run of getting themselves quoted by lazy journalists looking for ‘balance’, but it became obvious very quickly that they were a tiny group of retrograde nutters with almost no representation of the community at large. Even the compliment that Iles ‘tripled’ the ACL numbers in such a short time is an indication of how much of a fringe group they are, just as every time someone polls people’s religious affiliation there’s always some tiny cult bragging about how they’re ‘the fastest growing religion in [area]’. Well, they’re only growing fast because adding ten members doubles their flock…

  13. says

    Calm down, he’s not dead yet.

    Oh, schwoo. For a second there I thought I would be mourning and have to lower the flag to half-erect, or whatever they call that.

    At his age, though, he’s probably contemplating his future successor.

    Or he’s contemplating the joyous union to come with his maker, looking forward to whatever important role God will have for him in Heaven. An important task, I’m sure, possibly involving pushing a rock up a hill.

    Bodie Hodge, his son-in-law, is a blithering goober, and the other people at the top of his organization are women, so naturally they’re out of the running.

    To be fair, the women might be blithering goobers as well.

  14. StevoR says

    The ACL are truly nasty, if pathetic, little mob of fanatically homophobic, toxic bigots. Some lowlights and summaries :

    In September 2012, the then prime minister, Julia Gillard cancelled a speech to the ACL’s annual conference after the organisation’s managing director, Jim Wallace, argued that the health effects of homosexuality on individuals were worse than smoking.


    In 2016 the Australian Sex Party called for the ACL to be deregistered as a charity on the grounds that its main focus is political campaigning against same-sex marriage.[11]

    The ACL has been described as extremist, possibly influenced by Christian dominionism and reconstructionism.[18][76] The Global Project Against Hate and Extremism (GPAHE) released a report on October 5, 2022, in which it classified the Australian Christian Lobby as an “anti-LGBTQ+” group.[77]

    Source : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_Christian_Lobby

    Plus this :

    Among the issues ACL is opposed to are various LGBTQ+ rights including same-sex marriage, and prior to that civil unions, LGBTQ+ surrogacy and adoption rights, the existence of transgender people, and they have campaigned to allow religious schools to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. ACL views these issues as “rainbow ideology.” In 2016, the group complained about Queensland Police showing support for gay and transgender people by raising a rainbow flag over its headquarters. ACL has also opposed the Safe Schools program that encourages respect for LGBTQ+ students, arguing that its funding should be pulled. ACL also believes conversion therapy for minors, should be allowed. ACL was a fervent supporter of a “religious freedom” bill that failed to pass in early 2022. During the legislative debate, ACL argued that removing exemptions that allowed schools to discriminate against transgender students “completely undermined” the bill. The legislation would have granted religious institutions that run schools, care facilities, and other social services, the right to discriminate against people who do not share their faith.

    From here : https://globalextremism.org/australia/#acl

    As well as :

    The ACL’s most public campaigns lately have been over religious freedom, gender and, before that, same-sex marriage.

    But Iles’ YouTube videos wage a wide-ranging culture war. For instance, he has warned of a barely concealed plan by Western governments and the World Economic Forum to implement global communism, with coronavirus providing the opportunity.

    One of his most-watched videos touches on the new US vice president, Kamala Harris. Iles (whose rhetorical style tends to be reiterative) described her as “very, very, very, very, very, very, very left wing. Very, very left wing. Did I say enough ‘verys’?”.

    And in another video, he pushes former President Donald Trump’s unfounded claims the US election was stolen, saying of the left, “Do you really think that they wouldn’t have a little tamper with a vote? Of course they would.”

    Via : https://theconversation.com/why-is-the-australian-christian-lobby-waging-a-culture-war-over-lgbtq-issues-127805

    So, yeah crank magnetism and reichwing Conspiracy Tinfoil hat magnetism too and the ACL is at least as much a political hate group as a religious advocacy one. Plus, yeah, Martyn Lies will fit in at AIG perfectly. I”m just surprised they are having to import their top bigots rather than promoting one of their own homegrown ones.

  15. drsteve says

    The only appropriate choice, of course, is Danny Devito’s beloved Rum Ham, as featured in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s more sordid adventures (to the Jersey Shore).

  16. Silentbob says

    @ 3 garydargan

    Oh, fuck off. Queensland got this reputation from the long reign of State Premier (“Governer” is US equivalent) Joh Bjelke-Petersen, an ultra-conservative. But he’s been gone for more than a quarter century now.

    Here’s an edit of what Wikipedia has to say about our current Premier. I’ll leave up to Americans to decide if this sounds like the “Deep South”. (In Australia, Labor are the left, LNP the right.)

    Annastacia Palaszczuk is an Australian politician and solicitor serving as the 39th and current premier of Queensland since February 2015. She has been leader of the Queensland branch of the Australian Labor Party (ALP) since March 2012 and a member of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland (MLA) for the division of Inala since September 2006. She is the first woman to win the premiership from opposition and preside over a majority female cabinet in Australian history.

    Palaszczuk led Labor to victory at the 2015 election, becoming the first woman in Australian history to become a state premier from opposition. Her first ministry was majority female, also a first in Australia. She went on to lead Labor to increased majorities at the 2017 and 2020 elections, making her the first Australian female premier to win three terms.

    Palaszczuk’s environmental policies included the introduction a ban on single use plastic bags and the implementation of a container refunding recycling scheme, with support from the LNP opposition.

    Palaszczuk launched Labor’s climate change plan to achieve 50% renewables by 2030, and carbon neutrality by 2050.

    Queensland detected its first positive case of COVID-19 on 28 January 2020. A day later, Palaszczuk declared a public health emergency. The state recorded its first death from the virus on 13 March.

    Palaszczuk announced lockdown measures and state border closures from 23 March, as confirmed cases follow the worldwide trend of skyrocketing. Non-essential services were banned from operating, and schools and universities shut down.

    Despite criticism of the state border closures from outside sources, Palaszczuk recorded high approval ratings amongst Queensland voters, recording 65% satisfaction on one Newspoll.

    On 11 May 2017, the Queensland Parliament made an official apology to the people who were convicted of homosexual offences during its period of criminalisation. She supports same-sex marriage and campaigned for the ‘yes’ vote during the national plebiscite. Palaszczuk supported and helped pass legislation on 13 August 2020 that would ban gay conversion therapy, which would see health practitioners who attempt the practice jailed up to 18 months.

    On 17 October 2018, the Parliament passed the Termination of Pregnancy Act, which would legalise abortions up to 22 weeks of gestation and establish 150 metre safe zones around abortion clinics.

    Palaszczuk entered the 2020 election in a strong position, and was immensely popular amongst Queenslanders and voters, with her approval rating often soaring above 60%.

  17. gijoel says

    Australians kept passing those danged liberal laws anyway.

    Quote above just links back to this page.

  18. gijoel says

    @3 I’d also point out that Queensland decriminalized homosexuality 7 years before Tasmania.

    I think PZ posted an article once where he argued that the American bible belt wasn’t in a particular clump of states, but everywhere. The same is true for Australia, though to a far lesser degree. You’ll find some furniture gnawing bible thumpers in one part of Gympie and progressive, gay hippies a few houses down. Tony Abbott grew up in Sydney, and Cory Bernardi is from Adelaide (the city of churches).

    This Queensland is Florida stuff is bullshit. This Iles wanker is leaving Australia for the same reason Ken did. Australian generally despise hypocrites and we aren’t backwards about voicing our opinions. Also creationism is pretty laughable in Australia considering we’re populated with giant hopping animals and platypuses.

  19. wzrd1 says

    gijoel, well, obviously the animals got off of oah’s nark, then hopped a plane to Australia, shat fruit and multiplied by division or something.

    feralboy12, pretty sure that the flag has to go to half-ast. His job in heaven will be to feed an eagle liver, while chained to ensure his freedumb or something.

  20. birgerjohansson says

    Wzrd1 @ 23
    As usual you explain brilliantly how thruthiness works.

  21. Koshka says

    @3, Queensland doesn’t have Nazis marching on the streets like another state.

  22. tacitus says

    I’m getting strong Matt Powell vibes from Martyne Iles. Powell is the incredibly dumb and virulently homophobic young pastor who was Kent Hovind’s handpicked successor for his own creationist ministry until Hovind’s prediction for surrounding himself with pedophiles became too apparent to ignore.

    My bet is that Iles will either be too stupid to run AiG successfully or too impatient and ambitious to hang around until Ham finally shuffled of this mortal coil, because Ham isn’t going to retire, that’s for sure.

  23. Ed Seedhouse says

    “No one ever thought that intricacy could come out of simplicity”

    I thought that. I still think that. Therefore the claim is refuted by counterexample.

    I play chess. A fairly simple set of rules generates a game whose complexity the human mind cannot fully fathom. Another proof by counterexample.

  24. Andre XX says

    As an Australian I want to thank you guys for taking these idiots off our hands.

  25. brightmoon says

    🤦🏾‍♀️( sigh) Just when I thought that ignoramus Ham was becoming irrelevant!

  26. wzrd1 says

    birgerjohansson @24, or that I just have a rather unique sense of humor. I’ll admit, I’m an acquired taste, like Marmite is. ;)

    No one has ever thought that such simplicity could come out of such complexity, until the damned idiots opened their mouths.
    Proving yet again and lamentably often the adage, “It is far better to remain silent and be thought the fool than it is to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt”.

  27. says

    Shouldn’t that actually read “And now he’s been hired as Chief Menacing Officer for Answers in Genitals.” And, wasn’t his ‘evidence of god’ video originally a skit by Monty Python? Oh, look the earth IS flat, from here in Spain I can see Ohio, Columbus. Whoa, HELP, I think my brain has been hijacked by creationists!

  28. chrislawson says

    Ed Seedhouse@27–

    Yep, and Go is an even more complex game with even simpler rules than chess.

    Also, anyone who says that ‘intricacy’ cannot arise out of simplicity is abandoning chaos theory. Which just adds to the pile of core sciences they reject.

  29. Ed Seedhouse says

    @32: “Go is an even more complex game with even simpler rules than chess.”

    Good point.

  30. StevoR says

    @ ^ Ed Seedhouse : Then there are fractals (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fractal) of course .. among so many other examples including stellar nucleosyntheisis and stellar evolution. A star being a simple ball of hydrogen and helium in a stalemate between radiation pressure pushing out and gravity crushing in and yet we get extraordinary variablity -sometiems literally – & individual complexities of so many stars based on their precise masses, ages, evolutionary stages, interactions with other stars and their exoplanets, slight variations in metallicity (i.e. elements beyond helium), et cetera.
    (See : http://stars.astro.illinois.edu/sow/sowlist.html )

    Of course, simply defining simplicity vs complexity is not as, er, simple as it might first appear..

    @25. Koshka : “@3, Queensland doesn’t have Nazis marching on the streets like another state.

    Yup. Melbourne last night in the second most southerly state after Tasmania FWIW. News report here :

    Police say they are “appalled” by the violent clashes that erupted between anti-immigration protesters using the Nazi salute and counter-protesters outside Victorian Parliament. Officers were forced to use pepper spray to contain the violence in Melbourne’s CBD on Saturday, yelling at opposing demonstrators to “get back”. About 20 neo-Nazi protesters dressed in black and covering their faces gathered on the steps of parliament to demonstrate against increasing immigration.
    They were met by anti-fascist counter-protesters in much larger numbers.

    Source : https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-05-13/anti-immigration-rally-neo-nazis-violent-clash-melbourne/102342632

    That said, Queensland is much more conservative esp in rural areas & has the history of giving rise to the notoriously racist and bigoted Pauline Hanson ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pauline_Hanson ) and her One neuron party and being dominated by the very reichwing mining puppets that are our Nationals party, ad nasueam.. There’s definitely some good reasons to think of Qld as our “Deep North” even if it’s current govt is an ALP centrist one & the Greens did really well in the repeatedl, severely flooded capitalof Brisbane last time round.

  31. evodevo says

    Ah, yes…the “beautiful sunsets” schtick…a campus preacher pulled that one on me once – only it was “trees” (???) – I replied that all that evolved, and the beautiful trees were just trying to maximize their access to sunlight. He was not amused…I walked on and ignored him…

  32. DanDare says

    I was directly engaged with political warfare with ACL at the time Isles left. I was running the Kenmore Atheist after a long battle over the ACL getting religious chaplains into public schools, and pushing out qualified councillors. That battle is not yet over.

  33. brightmoon says

    Ooo , oooo, ooo I just found a dirty white single sock you can replace Ken Ham with ! It will Probably be more coherent