Half an hour with Ken Ham

Is Creationism a viable model of origins in today’s modern scientific era? No. For anyone interested in origins- biologist, physicist, astronomer, or lay person with an interest in the world- particularly Young Earth Creationism requires denial of evidence. Raymond Damadian, born 1936, is a YEC, but the education required to produce comparable achievements in his field, now, would include evidence clearly refuting YEC.

All that said-

How persuasive is Ken Ham as a speaker? Can I set aside my knowledge, and my commitment to the opposing point of view, to assess this? Here he is in debate on 4 February. His main half hour presentation begins at 27.30.

It is breathtaking. He takes so much. For example, at the end he argues that children should be taught creationism and not Darwinism in schools, because if they have the wrong theory they may make the wrong deductions about their world, and lose out. I want to say, wait a minute, that’s my argument: but rather it is that children should be taught truth as best we know it, not by ideology; and that would indeed cut both ways, if YEC had any credibility.

That, though, is nothing. He steals the word “Evolution” itself. He notes how Darwin’s Finches have different beaks, and how this shows Evolution. Darwin said all organic beings which have ever lived on this Earth may be descended from one primordial form. Genesis 1:25 says God made the beasts of the Earth according to their kinds. He identifies the “kinds” as Families, one rank above species, so Noah did not need to take so many animals on the Ark, and the Families have evolved into the different species we now observe. Rather than a tree of life, he says there is an Orchard.

No proper scientist could believe such crap, I say, which creates an opening for him: he dredges up two or three who have published proper peer-reviewed papers, yet believe YEC. Had I simply said the overwhelming majority of proper scientists are Darwinist, he could not refute that so easily.

He distinguishes observational from historical science. Observational science tells us what is happening now, and can be shown by experiment. Historical science cannot experiment, because we cannot see what happened 13.8bn years ago, or six thousand years ago- we have to infer it from evidence. I deny the distinction, but he repeats it several times: his supporters could take away that argument for their rhetorical arsenal.

All across the world, at the Cretaceous/Palaeogene boundary, there is a thin layer of clay with iridium concentrations fifteen times Earth normal; but iridium is far more common in asteroids. It is postulated that this iridium comes from the Chicxulub impact. Go on, explain that, Ham. Oh, I am so angry with him, despite his great charm- he called himself a “bloke”, explaining this was an Australian word. English too, of course.

I loathe his argument that the only sure foundation of science or morality is the Bible: if we reject that, we cannot resist gay marriage or abortion; and have no ground for postulating universal natural laws, if the Universe came into being randomly. Wrong, Wrong, I say. Ignorant YECs will go away reassured by his arguments.

15 thoughts on “Half an hour with Ken Ham

    • Oh, I never believed this stuff. But don’t you think it is a brilliant strategic withdrawal? James Ussher puts the Flood at 2348 BC, and that graphic shows Triceratops alive and even evolving into different species after that. Ham believes in Evolution! Then watch the video: he is a science teacher, giving a scientific lecture!

      Like

  1. ” if we reject that, we cannot resist gay marriage or abortion”
    What kind of tortured mind thinks that gay marriage or abortion are always evil or should be banned if there is even a chance that they can be sometimes evil?

    Their god supposedly made humans as they are – about 15% or so of many species are not heterosexual. Than again, denying equality to specific groups of people is a very religious thing to do.

    Their god ensures that up to 25% of clinically recognized pregnancies end in spontaneous abortion – miscarriage. http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancycomplications/miscarriage.html

    That’s not 25% of unwanted or accidental pregnancies, it’s all of them, even those blessed by a god in a believer’s wonderful family. God kills more babies every year than all the abortion clinics together ever would.

    Like

    • OK. Nice debating point, well honed.

      Everything Ham says is ludicrous. Fed up with being told of Darwin’s finches, and of the Ark not being big enough, he says only a breeding pair of each family of animals need go on the Ark and Evolution occurs within families. Yet there he is, explaining how evolution fits his model, not the Darwinist’s.

      a Darwin's finches

      Like

      • He has many problems. The phrase ‘observational science’ does not mean what he thinks it does and ‘historical science’ is made up. When he criticizes ‘historical science’ because we can’t know as we weren’t there he forgets that he can’t know his bible is accurate – we weren’t there. I’ve spent a couple of hours looking at creationist scientists listed on the AiG website. The ones that do look credible and have published peer reviewed papers seem legit till you go looking at their creationist supporting papers – they get torn to shreds as bad science multiple times. It takes a long read to figure that out so believers are not likely to do so but if they did, they would see that the only controversy Ham wants to teach is the one he is confabulating on his own.

        His ‘scientist’ friends can’t support legitimately the idea that all of human variation occurred in about 200 generations. He doesn’t have any sound science supporting his ‘truth’ at all. Even if they claim to believe in evolution there is no supporting evidence for how he claims it works in the time span of 200 generations.

        Believers will not investigate it though – their beliefs did not take study and so nothing else should either… sigh

        Like

            • To believe this sort of thing, you have to shut yourself off from so much that is beautiful and interesting. “Dynasty O” kings of Egypt are named from about 3200 BC. In 2348 BC, Unas of the Fifth dynasty ruled in Egypt, and his records show no Deluge- nor any lingering triceratops. Real scholars know that Old Kingdom dates may be out by as much as 150 years: at any rate there was a fifth or sixth dynasty king ruling at that time.

              He has a slide of two people looking at the fragmentary remains of a skeleton, to illustrate “historical science”, implying that it is difficult (which it is). As our deductions from ancestral skeletons get clearer, he is forced to jump on any question or dispute, saying “They don’t know! We Know!” And his followers have to ignore all consensus and focus only on disagreement.

              Like

    • As propaganda, it is brilliant. It repeats and reinforces the messages it wants to get across, particularly “Historical science is too difficult- the only way to know is God’s Word”. I think Bill Nye trounced him, giving good examples where we can know something is more than 10,000 years old- but YECs could leave with their mantras to repeat to each other.

      Like

All comments welcome.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.