Ken Ham’s Kind Provision of Evidence to Support Fred Clark’s Contentions

In a comment on my post in which I shared a quote from Fred Clark about how various leaders of the “Religious Right” are similar to/different from Rev. Sun Myung Moon, I was asked for evidence to support those claims. Fortunately, Ken Ham was kind enough to provide it on his Facebook page. Ham described my blog and/or Fred’s as “secularist,” never mentioning once that we are both Christian critics of his fraudulent claims and demagoguery. And as for his seeking of praise from followers, one need only keep an eye on the Facebook comments regularly. Any comments that offer criticism disappear, and so the number of comments goes not only up but down at regular intervals.

Ken Ham engages in something that ought to be considered a form of brainwashing, while pretending (as those who engage in mind control typically do) that it is those who teach actual science who do that. In a recent video, he claimed mainstream science brainwashes people, and he has the audacity to claim that if evolution is true, it should be obvious to children. Have you ever heard such hogwash? Is it obvious that the Earth rotates? It wasn’t to the Psalmist, and it isn’t to us, but science can show that it is the case despite it not being what we observe with our senses. Is it obvious that the brain is the location of thought and reasoning? It wasn’t obvious to Paul, but study of the brain using advanced technology has revealed to us what Paul couldn’t have known, because it isn’t observable to the senses without scientific perspectives and equipment. And then he makes false claims, such as that science teaches that we are “nothing but animals” and “came from slime.” Is there really nothing slimy that is ejaculated from men that human beings come from? And if Ken Ham doesn’t take a distinctively creationist approach to conception and sexual reproduction, then just what is his point? It is rhetoric, trying to make people think that mainstream science undermines morality and human specialness. But ironically, human specialness is not a claim that depends on what Ham calls “historical science” and if it did, it would apparently be in doubt. It is a simple fact of observation. We write poetry and create music and some of us praise the Creator, and what we are composed of has nothing to do with that, nor does it detract from that. And so we see Ham engaging in disinformation of the sort that we associate with cult leaders and not the quest for truth. All one has to do is listen closely to what Ham claims and use the critical thinking that he claims to support, while in fact only presenting a set of bogus claims and misinformation, laced as all effective lies are with just enough truth to dupe the gullible.

But Ken Ham says you should be open to hearing other viewpoint and thinking critically, and so why not take that seriously and read a book by a Christian who is a professional biologist or geologist or otherwise engaged in actual scientific research, and hear what they have to say? If you just listen to what Ham says that mainstream science says, is that critical thinking? Are you really making sure that you are getting accurate information about science? Since there are always people out to dupe Christians, shouldn’t you fact-check what Ham says carefully, since he is not a scientist or a Biblical scholar himself? Doesn’t the fact that he doesn’t allow comments on his videos and deletes comments critical of his claims from his Facebook page, while those who disagree with him, whether Christians or atheists, don’t have to, make you even the least bit suspicious? Don’t you owe it to God to ensure that, in following Ken Ham’s teaching, you haven’t been lured into a cult? Don’t they all claim what he does – that they have the one true meaning of the Bible, and they will show you why everyone else is wrong, while making sure that all the information their followers get is carefully filtered and manipulated? Isn’t it possible that Fred Clark is right on target in comparing him to a cult leader?

And most importantly, how will you be able to tell, if you don’t get other perspectives than the one that he and others like him are feeding you?

The sad truth is that “brainwashing” of this sort doesn’t work consistently. And so if you are afraid that evil humanist atheist secularists will get their claws on your children, trying to shield them from other perspectives and simply indoctrinate them with one viewpoint is not going to be effective, even if you really do have the truth (which, if you are a young-earth creationist, you don’t). Unless children are taught to seek after truth, to critically examine, and not simply to think that this or that viewpoint is biased, but to understand how to actually tell whether something is just pseudoscience, pretending to be skeptical while in fact merely using selective skepticism to cast doubt on views they dislike, and otherwise manipulating them, then the “faith” that you instill in them will not be genuine faith, but a house of cards which will be liable to collapse the moment anyone even gets close enough to it to ask questions about it. If you are a parent, is that really what you want?

I encourage you to read what some of the great scientists who are Christians have to say about evolution, the age of the Earth, and any other topic that may interest you. And in the short term, you can also click through to read Fred Clark’s follow-up post to something he shared recently. In it he explains why he doesn’t think that terms like “theistic evolutionist” are useful, and why no one describes themselves as a “theistic meteorologist.”

 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_E7Z3TKCXJOJ3NP2MZJVXJME2HA David

    Diarrhea of the mouth. There is an old saying, ‘they that cry the loudest are guiltiest most of all.’ Since you deny much of God’s word, you do not have the right to call yourself ‘christian’ and believe me you are not Christ-like. Christ spoke of creation not evolution or theistic assisted evolution
    Yes mainstream science does brainwash people. If you look at the whole picture you would see how it is done. 1st– they demand a monopoly in the classroom; 2nd– they construct their secular field to omit viable and verifiable data and tell their students to do the same; 3rd– the construct a set of criteria intent on limiting the type of information that can be accepted; 4th–they become bullies; 5th– they become abusive, resorting to personal attacks, insults, and other derogatory remarks especially when they cannot defeat those who bring the truth. The call truth tellers liars, they call sin good and so on. their very behavior shows that they do not have truth.
    I think you get the idea. Ken Ham is right in most of his points, at least in the ones you quoted, as you can’t take a secular idea and simply put God in it and make it better.
    Those who hold to alternatives to the Genesis account as written in the Bible find many ways to ignore other passages of scripture that tell them that they are wrong. They also demote God and Jesus to fallible, sinful beings incapable of telling the truth.
    This response can go on but sadly I am afraid it will reach deaf ears. As for your last paragraph, unless those ‘great christian scientists’ are new believers and do not know any better, they, like you, are not christian but false teachers spreading lies.

    • aaronpxian

      Lol!

    • Ken Gilmore

      David:

      >>they become abusive, resorting to personal attacks, insults, and other
      derogatory remarks especially when they cannot defeat those who bring
      the truth.

      Is there anything substantive in your rebuttal:

      >>they, like you, are not christian but false teachers spreading lies.

      >>Since you deny much of God’s word, you do not have the right to call yourself ‘christian’ and believe me you are not Christ-like

      >>Diarrhea of the mouth.

      James 3:9-10

    • Ian

      “believe me you are not Christ-like” – yeah, ‘cus you’re doing such a great job of demonstrating how it should be done!

      • rmwilliamsjr

        i don’t think we give enough thought to the persistence of these discussions online. years from now, perhaps even after our views on the issues have changed, people can google into this page and see how we interacted. the tone, our choice of words, how we treated other people will remain long after the participants have moved on to other things.

        • Ian

          Not sure I get your subtext. Are you chastising me or the OP?

          • rmwilliamsjr

            sorry for the confusion Ian. i’m agreeing with your comment that Dr David Tee is fundamentally name calling.

            and that his writing here has not demonstrated a Christ like demeanor, but quite the opposite.

            for reference:
            2nd ian:”believe me you are not Christ-like” – yeah, ‘cus you’re doing such a great job of demonstrating how it should be done!

            1st david:unless those ‘great christian scientists’ are new believers and do not know any better, they, like you, are not christian but false teachers spreading lies.

      • Dr. David Tee

        uhm…yes. Remember when Christ kicked the money changers out of the temple? remember how HE spoke to the religious hypocrite leaders of the day?
        You have some ideal about Jesus placed in your head which you measure others against and that is wrong. I can call out Dr. McGrath for his false teachings, false accusations and his heretical views. The Bible says we can

        • Ian

          “remember how HE spoke to the religious hypocrite leaders of the day?” pretty similar to the way James talks to the religious hypocrites of today.

    • John Small Berries

      “Since you deny much of God’s word, you do not have the right to call
      yourself ‘christian’ and believe me you are not Christ-like.”

      Just out of curiosity, have you plucked out your eyes or chopped off your hands after having committed sins with them (Matthew 5:29-30; Matthew 18:8-9; Mark 9:43-48)? Do you hold down a job instead of trusting God to provide everything for you (Matthew 6:25-34; Luke 12:24-32)? Have you sold all your possessions and given the money to the poor (Matthew 19:21; Mark 10:21; Luke 12:33; Luke 18:22)?

      Your post makes it obvious that you certainly don’t refrain from judging others (Matthew 7:1; Luke 6:37).

      So… do you call yourself Christian?

      • Dr. David Tee

        Uhm…holding down a job is trusting God to provide especially in these economic times.
        You need to learn the difference between ‘judging’ and ‘identifying’.
        Taking verses out of context and ignoring other verses which qualify certain statements is not good theology. You forget about the passage of the bridesmaids who did not sell or give all they had as they needed oil for their own needs.
        You also do not know what the word ‘Christian’ means or entails.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=729341355 Rusty Barnett

      To your 1st “point”: sure, we demand that SCIENCE be taught in the SCIENCE classroom. Sort of like how we demand math be taught in the math classroom…

      • Dr. David Tee

        The question is: What is science? The answer is very subjective and depends upon who is doing the defining. In his book Battle of Beginnings Dr. Del Ratzsch discusses a judge’s decision which stated that the definition of science depended upon the beliefs of the majority of scientists in the field. He goes on to say that, if creationists become the majority, then they get to determine what is science.
        You can have man’s point of view which is fallible, corrupt , subjective and very flexible as it changes with whomever is in charge OR you can have God’s point of view which then removes origins from its boundaries because origins is beyond the scope of science and not under its authority. It belongs to the spiritual world and secular science is the trespasser and usurper.

        • Anonymous

          What ‘science’ is is not subjective.

          Science is observing the
          world and trying to explain what we see. Simple as that. Read Karl
          Popper. It has nothing to do with what a non-existent scientific
          ‘majority’ ‘believes’ and the misguided opinion of a random judge won’t
          change that.

          There are very strict criteria for what can be
          called scientific. We need experimental evidence, we need
          reproducibility (which means anyone can potentially verify a theory;
          although I’ll grant not everyone has a Large Hadron Collider in their
          backyard). And a theory must make predictions. If a theory cannot be
          verified by experimental processes then it’s done for. Newton’s law of
          gravity was replaced by relativistic gravity precisely because it failed
          to account for real data.

          Scientists don’t care about politics – the final arbiter is always results.

  • Just Sayin’

    “Evolutionary theist” is better perhaps?

    • Ken Gilmore

      I prefer evolutionary creationist, myself. I particularly dislike ‘theistic evolutionist’ for the reasons Fred Clark mentioned.

  • Ken Gilmore

    The young earth creationism championed by AiG, ICR and other organisations is very much a comparatively recent phenomenon, dating to the early 20th century and owing not a little to the Seventh Day Adventist George McCready Price [1]. I find it ironic that in The Fundamentals, there were no articles sympathetic to YEC, with some of the contributors having no essential quarrel with evolution [2]. Modern fundamentalists aren’t even ‘fundamentalist’ by that criterion! Finally, it’s worth remembering that many of Darwin’s defenders were Christians:

    “Darwin’s cause in America was championed by the thoroughgoing
    Congregationalist evangelical Asa Gray, who set himself the task of
    making sure that Darwin would have “fair play” in the New World. Let us
    be clear right away that this cannot be dismissed as capitulation to the
    social pressure of academic peers. To the contrary, Gray had to take on
    one of the most influential naturalists in America at the time to
    maintain his viewpoint – none other than Louis Agassiz, a Harvard
    colleague who vitriolically scorned Darwin’s theory. But Gray was not
    alone. Many of his countrymen, associates in science and brothers in
    religion took the same stand. And indeed even those who ultimately
    remained unimpressed with if not hostile to Darwin were quite prepared
    to admit that evolution had occurred. It is surely not without
    significance that Christian botanists, geologists, and biologists – that
    is to say, those best placed to see with clarity the substance of what
    Darwin had proposed – believed the evidence supported an evolutionary
    natural history. ” [3]

    YEC – the AiG type at least – is a relatively recent phenomenon, and could be charitably called a theological deviation from what many theologically conservative Protestants of the late 19th and early 20th centuries held.

    1. Numbers R “The Creationists: From Scientific Creationism to Intelligent Design” (2006, Harvard University press)

    2. Keas M “Darwinism, Fundamentalism, and R. A. Torrey” Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith PSCF (2010) 62:25-51

    3. Livingstone D.N. “Darwin’s Forgotten Defenders” (Eerdmans 1984) p xi-xii

  • Dr. David Tee

    ” Isn’t it possible that Fred Clark is right on target in comparing him to a cult leader?”
    No for a cult leader doesn’t let his people have any choice, any freedom, any thought of their own. Ken Ham allows all three and He does not keep people in a compound locked away from the rest of the world.
    You and Clarke are afraid of the trutyh so you attack it relentlessly and you attack its messengers.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      No, actually I make truth my priority, and that is why I have no problem encouraging people to investigate these topics for themselves. I don’t need to delete comments that ask awkward questions, the way Ham does. I don’t need to make false antitheses and use fallacies to dupe people, the way Ham does.

      The problem is that you are so convinced that you are a messenger of truth, that there is no way that even God can get through to you. That degree of hardness of heart is sad to see.

    • decathelite

      I posted a comment on Ken Ham’s Facebook page stating: “Ken Ham and AiG censor their own material (look at their youtube site and see that comments are blocked). I will probably be banned for making this statement.”
      Wouldn’t you know it, my comment was deleted and I am blocked from being able to comment on that site.

      I checked back and there was a post declaring they block youtube comments due insults received from secularists. It is more than that. They block ALL opposing comments, no matter how civil.

      Don’t believe me? Go to his page and post this simple statement: “I do not agree with Ken Ham or AiG on young earth creationism.” And you will be banned. Try it. I double dare you.

      • rmwilliamsjr

        see
        http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2012/09/fred-clark-on-what-differentiates-jerry-falwell-pat-robertson-james-dobson-ken-ham-and-ralph-reed-from-sun-myung-moon.html

        i posted josh freeman’s comment on kh’s fb and when i saw it was deleted. kh’s crew routinely delete/ban on the fb page. but what is sad is that they will link to places like this sending hundreds of their minions to comment on open sites never considering the asymmetry involved.

        last time i looked, the nye-science guy video had 14K comments, a significant number are YEC’s sent by places like kh’s fb page, which has posted at least 3 times about that video.

      • Dr. David Tee

        I have been banned from ore atheist, progressive creationist , theistic evolutionist , evolutionists, unbeliever’s sites than you can count. I donot see the unbelieving world acting any better or setting a better example.
        I have been abused on all those sites, personally attacked, insulted, threatened with loss of employment, and much much more. I do not think you have a case.

        • rmwilliamsjr

          i’m not surprised. i’d think such vigorous opposition would cause you to reanalyze the way you “discuss” these things online.

          “Your speech should always be winsome, seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you must answer each person.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/bartonbreen Bart Breen

    Does anyone else find it ironic that those here claiming that they’re moderated off of progressive creationist sites are telling us about that on one and their posts are still here? I moderate an Old Earth Creationist site that welcomes both YEC believers and Atheists and while we do moderate people from both perspectives and we will ban people, when that happens 95% is attributable not to their positions (I’d like to say 100% but I’ll leave the door open that there’s been times we’ve maybe had a volunteer act rashly and when we become aware we’ve restored people too) but to their tactics of Ad Hominem Attacks, Logical Fallacies and/or unwillingness to engage with conversations opting instead for the position that their “truth” entitles them to a soapbox. We have long term members from many different backgrounds and positions and many long term threads with open discussion and that include regular YEC and Atheist posters. The Reason, as I see it, that Ken Ham can’t do the same on his AIG website, Youtube or Facebook is because when Ken Ham himself engages in the practices that would make others unwelcome on his sites he has no leg to stand upon to attempt to moderate discussion and all he can do is allow cheerleaders on and eliminate all other opposition in order to massage his own ego and try to maintain the illusion that his positions are unassailable.

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