Tuesday, March 15, 2011

#166: Ken Ham

Arguably the successor of Kent Hovind to the title of mackerel baron of the biblical creationist movement, Ken Ham is the well-known founder of Answers in Genesis (a pertinent description of which is found here, and also here). He originally hails from Australia (where all the kangaroos apparently floated after the Ark stranded in Turkey; see here). He is very diligent and shovels a lot of shit every day, completely delusional and utterly unable to distinguish fact from fantasy.

Also generally recognized as a human spambot that generates sentences with no regard for their truth or justification, their cogency with previous statements or any conceivable rules for good critical thinking, but in a completely predictable manner, such as in this case where the input cue is the term “atheist”. See this, and also this.

His favorite debate technique is a version of the Gish gallop known as the “Ham Hightail” which consists of jumping from point to point, ignoring all contrary evidence, and quoting the Bible whenever proof is required. Since the purpose is to retain the hold of those who already believe creationism is backed by science, if all else fails the hightail prescribes the “different worldviews” (i.e. atheist vs. moral) gambit.

Ken Ham and AIG also run the world-famous creation museum in Kentucky, a monument to ignorance, fundamentalism and denialism. The main purpose of the museum is to promote the idea that humans and dinosaurs coexisted peacefully before the Flood. The T Rex ate coconuts, and the reason animals ended up on different continents was that plate tectonics happened really, really fast after the flood. It “says quite a lot about Ham and his followers that they find a 4.5-billion-year-old Earth wildly implausible next to the notion of a tyrannosaur calmly grazing in a meadow.” Ken Ham and AiG seem to have failed to realize that the Flintstones is not a documentary. This is also pertinent, as is this.

Absolutely clueless and ignorant about science, Ham is also fond of dismissing any evidence on the grounds that the presenter is (purportedly) an atheist – a standard conspiracy theory trick, really.

He does, however, realize that Dembski’s old earth, intelligent design creationism is “bizarre", though not obviously for the right reasons.

Ham is also constantly complaining that scientists are unwilling to take him seriously. Go figure (He really, really doesn’t get it, though).

A couple of other examples: Ken Ham (feebly) claims that his Noah’s Ark claims are misrepresented.

Ken Ham on the Virginia Tech shootings (predictably).

Ken Ham on Tiktaalik.

Ken Ham applies double standards for Jesus.

Ken Ham fails to stay classy.

Ken Ham goes insane.

Oh, and Hitler.

And so on, and so forth. You get the gist.

Diagnosis: A clod, crackpot and (unintentional) con artist; seriously deluded and influential in the manner of Kent Hovind; Ken Ham is perhaps the leading advocate of traditional creationism and naïve biblical literalism. A threat to reason, sanity, intelligence and rationality everywhere.

19 comments:

  1. Can you quote anything but 'rationalwiki,' 'scienceblogs,' and sites with 3-letter addresses?

    I just think it'd help your case, considering that people often seem to get upset at Creationists when they link to answersingenesis, for example. How about a Scientific American link, or a PNAS article?

    Just some food for thought.

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  2. "I just think it'd help your case"

    Depends on what you think the purpose of the blog is. We have no hopes of converting the already lunatic. The purpose, as we conceive it, is to make people aware of these people; the links are supposed to provide background material on them (it is in the links that you'll find actual discussion of the various claims). The purpose is hence to provide a resource for ordinary, rational people who are actually able to recognize lunacy, denialism and conspiracy theories for what they are.

    "How about a Scientific American link, or a PNAS article?"

    Insofar as they exist. Scientific American, for instance, rarely deal with the various antics of the delusional. Scienceblogs, rationalwiki and skeptic's dictionary, among others, do.

    "considering that people often seem to get upset at Creationists when they link to answersingenesis, for example"

    Yes, but there is a relevant difference. Answersingenesis is a pile of lunacy. Scienceblogs and rationalwiki are generally trustworthy sources on these things, on the other hand (these resources are, for one, written by people who actually know what they are talking about and who possess critical thinking skills). I assume that said rational people recognize that.

    (appears that blogspot doesn't recognize the blockquote tag)

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  3. Now, this is an interesting development.

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  4. Here's Ken Ham's attempt to show that his is the only correct religion and all others are false.

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  5. Here is an overall all-too-sympathetic review of one of Ken Ham's scientific treatises.

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  6. The lack of self-awareness yield rather funny results on occasion.

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  7. You can see Ken Ham attempting to explain why evolution and same-sex marriage are two sides of the same coin here.

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  8. And here is Ham getting it wrong. Again.

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  9. Ham visits Sea World in Australia and
    doesn’t like it.

    He has also expressed his anger, recently, at Pat Robertson for coming out as an old-earth rather than young-earth creationist. Predictably, Ham is delightfully and incoherently moronic about the issue.

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  10. Ham complaints that telling the truth is brainwashing kids with reality.

    And here he shows, once again, that his lack of understanding of science is complete.

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  11. Ken Ham is dissatisfied with Robert Jeffress. Hilarity ensues, or would have if these two monsters weren't so scary.

    Here is Ham weighing in on Earth Day.

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  12. Ham's complaints about intolerant atheists viciously attacking Christian schools.

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  13. I agree with EriK that It'd be great if you'd link to sources of further information with less obvious bias. I enjoy your site, but when looking for context and clarification I usually google or go to Wikipedia instead of using the links you provide. Rationalwiki has such an obvious bias which, although agreeable, comes across more as sarcasm than objective information.

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  14. No, Ken. Dragons aren't real. And dinosaurs weren't on the Ark, either.

    Now, visitors appear to have failed his theme park recently, and to remedy the situation they have recently opened an allegedly non-religious exhibit to pull in ... well, you can see for yourself how appealing it is to non-fundies.

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  15. At present it looks like the Ark Encounter project is going ahead; I recommend heading over to The Panda's Thumb or The Sensuous Curmudgeon for more details. Meanwhile, This is quite a shame.

    Apart from that, AiG recently turned 20. The world would have been such a better place if the people involved had spent their resources and efforts on something worthwhile instead.

    Here is Ham taking on religious critics of young earth creationism.

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