Ken Ham Makes SETI Comments Even Worse

If you thought Ken Ham’s previous statement about how we shouldn’t look for life elsewhere in the universe because Jesus couldn’t save them were dumb, he just made them even dumber in an interview with Ray Comfort. Not only should we defund SETI, he says we should use that money to build creation museums.

The president of the Answers in Genesis ministry appeared this week on fellow creationist Ray Comfort’s “Comfort Zone” online program, arguing that the existence of intelligent life would undermine Christian theology.

“Understanding the Gospel that God’s son became a man, became a descendent of Adam, became the God-man (and) remains the God-man – our savior – and that only humans can be saved, so obviously Jesus didn’t become a God-Klingon, he became a God-man,” Ham explained.

*headtilt* Hmmm? Is there a universe in which that sentence is anything but completely incoherent nonsense?

Comfort’s co-host, Emeal Zwayne, suggested those funds could be used to build an ark – like the Noah’s ark theme park Ham’s ministry is trying to build in Kentucky.

“Yeah, we could build one in California, we could build a Creation Museum in California,” Ham said. “We could build Creation Museums around the world. Certainly, NASA is wasting a lot of money looking for alien life in outer space, and it’s really because of evolution. Look how evolution is detrimental to our progress – it’s wasting a lot of money.”

This is the kind of argument that is so ludicrous that only an audience full of people who are virtually braindead could find it anything but laughable.

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  • D. C. Sessions

    Ed, I think you could be a bit kinder to the brain dead.

  • Childermass

    His previous reply was egging on NASA to fund SETI so they could fail to find ET and thus confirm the Christian prediction of no ET. So Ham has contradicted himself a bit here.

    But Ham is right that the existence of alien intelligence would completely undermine the current fundy Christian worldview as it has God making a human-centered universe. Of course if ET is ever found, I am sure they will find some new rationalization. They always do.

  • John Pieret

    It doesn’t help any that Ham and his don’t know that NASA doesn’t fund SETI (though it is looking for extraterrestrial planets, including Earth-like ones). But leave it to Ham to think that creation museums are worth more than astronomical or any other scientific research.

    “It frightens me to think of the state of learning in the world if everybody had your driving sense of curiosity.” Henry Drummond

  • Childermass

    <Dalek> Ken, the brain dead are not worth exterminating. </Dalek>

  • Chiroptera

    childermass, #2: Of course if ET is ever found, I am sure they will find some new rationalization.

    Yeah, I can imaging that if we come into contact with sentient life elsewhere and if it turns out that at some point in their history the dominant religions were also monotheistic, the evangelicals will use that as proof that their God exists.

  • http://www.facebook.com/using.reason usingreason

    Also, doctors should ditch medical school and get theology degrees so they are better able to pray patients back to health. Just think of all the money we’d save not needing to buy expensive medical equipment our build hospitals. Praise Jebus.

  • raven

    …because Jesus couldn’t save them were dumb,

    This isn’t even good xian theology.

    God/jesus is all powerful and can do anything. Squid jesus could save the methane swimmers on Kpax IV if he wanted to. In fact, they are his new chosen creatures, since humans have gotten too boring.

    AFAICT, Ham is just amping up the crazy for attention. He and AIG need it. They aren’t doing all that well financially and their Ark Park project hasn’t raised enough money in several years of trying.

  • colnago80

    Of course, 30 years ago, the predecessors of Hambone were claiming that there were no other planets in the universe. Another fundy hypothesis flushed down the toilet.

  • dhall

    Sure, let him build Christian theology-based creation museums around the world. He could start in China, move on to Sudan, and I’m sure he’d be welcome in Saudi Arabia too.

  • Childermass

    Raven @ 7:

    …because Jesus couldn’t save them were dumb,

    This isn’t even good xian theology.

    God/jesus is all powerful and can do anything. Squid jesus could save the methane swimmers on Kpax IV if he wanted to. In fact, they are his new chosen creatures, since humans have gotten too boring.

    AFAICT, Ham is just amping up the crazy for attention. He and AIG need it. They aren’t doing all that well financially and their Ark Park project hasn’t raised enough money in several years of trying.

    I don’t think you understand Ham’s position. Ham does not in anyway say that God could not save the methane swimmers of Kpax IV. No, Ham’s position is that God made a man-centered universe. His worldview, unlike the universe itself, is very small. That this position makes no sense should be no surprise as he has no choice but to make no sense if he wished to keep a fundy point of view. Ham’s position is that God did not create methane swimmers of Kpax IV.

    It is hard to overemphasize how man-centered Ham’s “God centered” point of view really is. When Adam and Eve sinned, death* first entered into the universe changing how it worked. He is not without reason for saying this. Okay he without a scientific reason. He does have a theological reason. That reason is Paul’s theology as presented in the New Testament which very clear that the reason for death is sin. When Adam sinned he brought sin into the word.

    *Fundies often deny that plant death counts as death so Adam and Eve could eat. I’m not saying it makes since, I just reporting what they think.

    (Yeah, Ken Ham is correct that those who have claimed that he is claiming that aliens will go to Hell are rather blatantly distorting his position. Folks, don’t do that. His real position is stupid enough that it needs not enhancement. )

    And of course Ham needs attention. George W. Bush really screwed him by getting his economic policies in place, creating the Great Recession and its aftermath which has played havoc in donations and made people less willing to spend lots of money by crossing the country to see see his monstrosities. It is amazing how less important giving money to God becomes when times become a little tough. And even if things had never gone downhill, there would have always been the next project of his great empire. No matter what, he will be asking for money and attention until he dies.

  • Mike Morris

    Fear and stupidity are Kenny’s stock in trade. Without them the world wouldn’t have a creation museum which neither proves creation nor acts like a museum.

    Ham is like a man in a rowboat, rowing furiously, never checking his direction. He is all turned around and headed for the dam. His idea of a bright future is indistinguishable from a dim past.

  • raven

    No, Ham’s position is that God made a man-centered universe.

    Well, the giant methane swimming squids of Kpax IV will be glad to know this. Ham’s xian god is neither benign nor competent. His fixes for his mistakes usually involve killing or mass killing.

    Ham’s universe is tiny but it does fit into his equally tiny mind. When it was invented, several thousand years ago, the earth was flat, orbited by the sun, and the stars were just lights stuck on a dome.

  • http://florilegia.wordpress.com Ibis3, Let’s burn some bridges

    @7 raven

    No, not really. If, in order to save aliens from Kpax IV, God would have had to become incarnate as a squid methane swimmer, there wouldn’t be a Trinity, God would have to be a Quadruplity, with Squid being a whole other person than God the Father and the Son, Jesus. And positing God as anything but a Trinity is a no-no, according to Christian orthodoxy. It’s not that God can’t do/be whatever he wants, it’s that this is what is believed God did/is. Also, it would imply that the Squid Methane Swimmers also fell from grace. How could that happen twice without it being designed into the system, either deliberately (no free will) or negligently (God not perfect)? And if aliens didn’t fall from grace but humanity did (then they wouldn’t be subject to death)? Or did also because of the Fall (then how can they be saved by the Incarnation of Jesus)? The only way Christian theology works (for some values of “works”) is for there to be no alien intelligent life. Therefore, Ham is justified to say searching for it is a waste of money and resources.

  • Chiroptera

    You know, this whole man-centered universe thing should have been disproved when we figured out that the sky isn’t a soiid dome covering a flat earth.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    … arguing that the existence of intelligent life would undermine Christian theology.

    Great. If life elsewhere should be found, I hope someone will remember this.

    “Yeah, we could build one in California, we could build a Creation Museum in California,” Ham said.

    California already has at least two.

  • hrafn

    Given that Jesus is meant to have spent roughly 3 decades as a human, and to have been MIA in the couple of millenia since, how do we know he hasn’t spent his time being born as a small furry creature from Alpha Centuri, to bring the Gospel to them that they might be saved, and onwards to dozens of other alien species besides?

    Hambo’s argument is an implicit Argument from Silence (the human Gospels make no mention of aliens being saved, so aliens cannot have been saved) — a very weak argument.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    … the existence of intelligent life would undermine Christian theology.

    No, the existence and application of intelligence does that. Intraplanetarily.

  • raven

    And if aliens didn’t fall from grace but humanity did (then they wouldn’t be subject to death)?

    Aha!!!

    You have found it. The squids on Kpax IV didn’t fall from grace. No original sin. No death.

    They are immortal, sinless beings. We now know what angels look like and it isn’t what we thought. Giant squids swimming in methane seas. No wonder they don’t spend much time on earth.

  • Childermass

    In Ken Ham’s theology, those squids of Kpax IV will suffer death because Adam’s sin changed the rules of the universe and now everything dies. This is why he does not believe in aliens, because of the absurdity of them being condemned to Hell because of Adam is absurd but somehow that the notion of Adam’s descendents getting a big dose of original sin is not.

    —–

    Re: Creationists and planets. Look at pages 29 and 30 of Scientific Creationism for some predictions. He did not rule out exoplanets per se.

  • Childermass

    Scientific Creationism is by Henry Morris. I should have made that clear.

  • Mobius

    Let’s see…The current budget for SETI is about 2.5 million dollars per year. The planned cost of the Ark Encounter is over 170 million dollars.

    In other words, the money for the Ark Encounter (not even including its continued maintenance) could fund SETI for about 70 years.

    So who is wasting how much money? (Not that I consider SETI a waste. It is a long shot, but not a waste.)

  • grumpyoldfart

    I wouldn’t be even slightly surprised if NASA gets shut down before the end of the century – and each State has its own Creation Museum.

  • Mobius

    BTW, Ken Ham thinks that Adam’s “sin” 6000 years ago has permeated the entire universe…which expands in every direction about 14 billion light years. So the speed of sin must be at least 2,000,000 times that of the speed of light…violating Einstein’s Relativity.

  • theguy

    “Certainly, NASA is wasting a lot of money looking for alien life in outer space, and it’s really because of evolution. Look how evolution is detrimental to our progress – it’s wasting a lot of money.”

    NASA made technological advances while trying to reach the moon. Their budget is a minimal fraction of the US government budget. The real waste of money is tax breaks for the already wealthy (trickle-down).

    Evolutionary theory makes modern medicine possible. In what universe is it “detrimental to our progress?” What medicines have creationists invented?

  • nrdo

    For a group that claims to pay so much deference to a deity, these pastors spend an awful lot of time telling that deity what he can and cannot do.

  • briandavis

    @2 Childermass said

    Of course if ET is ever found, I am sure they will find some new rationalization.

    I can already predict what it will be. Satan was jealous of God’s creation, so he created his own lifeforms on other planets. These other lifeforms are literally the evil spawn of Satan. They must be exterminated! EXTERMINATED!!

  • raven

    BTW, Ken Ham thinks that Adam’s “sin” 6000 years ago has permeated the entire universe…which expands in every direction about 14 billion light years.

    It’s that incompetence thing again.

    Hasn’t god ever heard of firewalls? Even my Microsoft Windows OS has a firewall!!!

  • Chiroptera

    I doubt that the existence of extraterrestrial sentient life will have that much effect on evangelical Christianity. When the Americas were discovered, there was some debate whether the inhabitants were even human and whether Christian salvation even applied to me. I don’t recall anyone ever saying, “Oh no! This would pose a problem for Christianity!”

  • Chiroptera

    “…applied to them“.

    Although who knows whether the Christian concept of salvation applies to me, either. One reason I left Christianity was how bizarre and irrational the theological concepts of “the Fall” and “salvation” were.

  • raven

    I don’t recall anyone ever saying, “Oh no! This would pose a problem for Christianity!”

    If history is any guide, there would be three options from the Hamites if we ever discovered UFO aliens.

    Convert them. KIll them. Convert them and then kill them.

    In reality, it wouldn’t make any difference if we did discover ETs. Their theology is all make believe and let’s pretend anyway. It evolves rapidly while they claim it is eternal and unchanging.

  • D. C. Sessions

    What medicines have creationists invented?

    Their Bible is reputed to contain a really reliable abortifacient.

  • http://www.pandasthumb.org Area Man

    I regard SETI as largely a vanity project whose funding would be better used for almost any other purpose (a creation museum being among the exceptions). However, to the best of my knowledge, it’s funded almost entirely with private money. People can waste their money however they want, even Ham’s followers.

  • http://Reallyawakeguy.blogspot.com somnus

    I’m pretty sure his real objection is that when you look out at the universe you learn stuff. And among the things you learn is how pathetically small his view of the world is. Reality is so much bigger than he is capable of imagining.

  • sanford

    Penn Jillette really laid in to Ham yesterday. You should check out his podcast. It was the last 15 minutes or so

  • Michael Heath

    Mobius writes:

    BTW, Ken Ham thinks that Adam’s “sin” 6000 years ago has permeated the entire universe…which expands in every direction about 14 billion light years. So the speed of sin must be at least 2,000,000 times that of the speed of light…violating Einstein’s Relativity.

    Proving two things.

    Satan’s one fast motherfucker.

    The old football adage, “speed kills”, is true.

  • Nick Gotts

    Penn Jillette really laid in to Ham yesterday. You should check out his podcast. – sanford@34

    Penn Jillette is just as much of a numpty as Ken Ham. He worships the great god Market instead of Jahweh, but the psychology is much the same.

  • aziraphale

    @13 Ibis3

    I think theology can cope. All it needs to say is that the earthly Jesus was an avatar* of the heavenly 2nd person of the trinity. Clearly there could also have been a squidly avatar. And it’s credible that if there are many intelligent species, some will need saving and some not.

    * in the Hindu sense http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avatar not the movie

  • anubisprime

    Comfort and Ham in the same ‘debate’ is that not against some advice regarding critical mass stupidity of unstable dickwads or something?…that must have been as near to end times as we all might experience this side of the rapture!