Ken Ham Doesn’t Believe His Own Lies

Here’s the Creation Museum’s Ken Ham explaining the other day how people never rode dinosaurs (even though, in his mind, they lived at the same time):

Host: The last question we have here tonight, Ken, they ask: “How did men get the dinosaurs to not buck them off of their saddles when people rode them? Were the dinosaurs more domesticated and well behaved because there wasn’t as much sin back then? I’ve always wondered.”

Ken Ham: (pause) Well, I need to get paid overtime for this question… It seems we’re a bit over our time.

I don’t know where people get the idea that people rode dinosaurs. I mean, there’s no evidence in the Bible that that is so. When Job was looking at Behemoth, the description there… there’s nothing to do with people riding dinosaurs. We don’t know how people interacted with dinosaurs.

Where did they get the idea that you believe people rode on dinosaurs…?

Gee, I don’t know, maybe it’s the dinosaur in the Creation Museum that has a saddle on it so that kids (and PZ Myers) can get on top and take a picture:

But Ham says that’s just for fun. So it can’t be that…

OH! Maybe it’s the dude riding a dinosaur on the cover of Ken Ham’s book What Really Happened to the Dinosaurs?:

Or maybe it’s the pictures of people riding dinosaurs in Ken Ham’s book Dinosaurs of Eden: Tracing the Mystery Through History

Lesson learned: Don’t believe the things Ken Ham pushes in his book and museum. Even he doesn’t buy into his own bullshit.

(via Exploring Our Matrix)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • http://twitter.com/luciferadi Adi Rule

    This reminded me that DINOTOPIA and THE WORLD BENEATH are utterly gorgeous books and I should revisit them. So maybe something good has come from Ken Ham at last?

    • Santiago

      That is what I thought too when I saw the kids book illustration.

  • http://twitter.com/SouthHumanist SouthernHumanist

    If he would just stop at “there’s no evidence in the Bible,” then he might actually be getting somewhere.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

    it’s really interesting to me as a scholar of ancient cultures in the middle east that there isn’t one single tablet or depiction of a dinosaur, and a lot of those cultures even predate ancient hebrew.

    odd, that. oh well. i think it’d be fun to ride a dinosaur. so long as it didn’t eat my head or stomp me into a pancake accidentally.

    • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

      Exactly. Dinosaurs were the most astonishing animals to ever walk the earth. There were hundreds of different kinds, with very distinctive features, and they lived in great numbers. Yet from ancient writings we have detailed descriptions of donkeys, pigs, horses, and other more mundane animals. All we get from the Bible is Behemoth and Leviathan, which sound more like a drug trip than a description of a remarkable animal that the author was actually looking at.

      • Octoberfurst

        Good point Richard, but I have had people say that the legends of dragons are actually people describing dinosaurs. “Dragon legends are in all cultures”, they say “So they must have been describing a real animal.” My reply is perhaps there were some big lizards running around in the past but they were not dinosaurs since dinosaurs died out millions of years before humans came onto the scene. I don’t know if that is a good reply or not. What do you think?
        As for Behemoth and Leviathan, Christians constantly use them as examples of dinosaurs.but I agree with you that they are most likely fantasy creatures like unicorns or satyrs.

        • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

          Yours is a good reply, but it will bounce off someone who is determined to keep believing their fantasy. If I have nothing better to do, such as cleaning my fingernails, I respond to the “dragons are mentioned in many cultures, therefore people saw dinosaurs” trope with something like this:

          Ancient writings describe common animals like horses, goats, pigs, etc. with enough accurate detail that we can easily identify them even without the animal being named. Most ancient mentions of dragons are just the word “dragon,” translated from whatever word was used in that ancient language, meaning whatever it meant, which is usually not described. Any descriptions that are included are poetic and fanciful, with simile and methaphor, rather than the I’m-looking-right-at-it kind of description we get when ancient authors wrote about horses, dogs, cats, etc. If people actually saw animals as distinctive and amazing as a Triceratops, a Tyrannosaurus, or a Brachiosaurus, why would they not be able to describe them as recognizably, unmistakably, and vividly as they did with their donkeys or their girlfriends?

          If by this time the person I’m talking to hasn’t said, “I’ll pray for you” and left, I might continue with:

          The earliest ancient Egyptians predate the Biblical authors by many centuries, and they left us stone carvings and drawings on papyrus depicting many animals, and their many gods. These gods are often combinations of the bodies of men or women with the heads of animals such as hawks, hippos, jackals, crocodiles, etc. and they’re very clearly carved or drawn. If dinosaurs were around back then, why didn’t the ancient Egyptians carve or draw them, and have many gods with the heads of much more impressive animals, such as a T-Rex, or a Tryceratops, or dozens of other very distinctive dinosaurs?

          My reply is probably not any more effective than yours with people who are working hard to protect their ignorance, but at least it gives me the satisfaction of putting tough questions into their minds that they have to admit (privately, not to me) they cannot answer.

          • Octoberfurst

            Thank you Richard. I liked your reply much better than mine, especially the part about the Egyptians not drawing any dinosaurs since they drew everything else they saw.

        • artiofab

          Not to step on Richard’s toes…

          Dragon legends aren’t in all cultures, but mythological beasts of some form are. People pushing the idea that “dragons have to be descriptions of real animals” have to be consistent and say that sasquatch is a real animal. And goblins. And gnomes. And elves. And black dogs. And kraken and manticores and mermaids and etc etc etc.

          _Some_ mythological creatures have some reality-based answer; mermaids are sorta kinda based off of manatees+dugongs. But not all do, and the evidence for dragons being based off reality (in any form other than varanid lizards, crocodilians, and snakes) is non-existent.

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

            hey now! i have a rottie, don’t you go calling him mythological just because he’s black. ;-)

            but essentially: this.

            the ancients entertained a lot of mythology and depicted some amazing creatures. winged beings, goat-fish, people with six or more arms… it’s one of the reasons i liked studying it so much; it’s endlessly entertaining. sort of the ancient version of the sci-fi channel.

            dinosaurs were unknown to them, mostly. i’m pretty sure that once in a great while, some ancient found a dinosaur bone; that happens sometimes. what they thought about that discovery? well, as the saying goes, “thar be dragons.”

            without science, it’s very easy to interpret the natural world with myth and imagination. for most of human history, that’s exactly what happened. the sad part is that a lot of those doing the interpreting did it as con artists and grifters. but hey, we’ve got hollywood, so i guess we’re no better. ;-)

            • artiofab

              Your dog is folkloric, ain’t my fault.

              There’s a little bit of research into whether ancient peoples had any notions of paleontology; Adrienne Mayor at Stanford has done some work into this, her book is The First Fossil Hunters: Paleontology in Greek and Roman Times. There’s suggestions that some indigenous Americans came up with thunderbirds as an explanation for fossils they found in the North American Western Interior, there’s the possibility that large fossil bones were the basis for giant myths… So it’s possible that some mythological creatures were based, partially, on fossils. China has definitely been calling fossils ‘dragon bones’ for a while, but whether that was ever a literal belief is questionable.

          • baal

            I’m fond of looking at an elephant’s skull as an excuse to think up cyclops. IMG is safe for work and not me. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-TaCZzqpXKxg/TZXR6IgXLvI/AAAAAAAAAAw/H4RQq_Mmdf4/s1600/Tony_with_Elephant_Skull.jpg

    • http://twitter.com/SouthHumanist SouthernHumanist

      Riding a dinosaur would be terrifying; even if it was a “harmless” herbivore. Would you try riding a rhinoceros? Ummm, no thanks. haha!

  • Rain

    I’d like to see him in an actual real google hangout (as opposed to a staged hangout.) He probably wouldn’t say a lot though. He would probably stomp out of the hangout real quick, actually.

  • Katwise

    “I know that I’ve learned a few things here tonight.” Yes, these people are crazier than I had ever imagined.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jgnixdorf John Nixdorf

    If it got me my own saddled riding velociraptor I would seriously consider Christianity

    • SecularPatriot

      Now there’s a god I could believe in!

    • A3Kr0n

      Just think of the mess it would leave in the the yard.

      • coyotenose

        Just think of the mess it would leave in the obnoxious neighbor’s yard with a little training.

        • JoeBuddha

          Not to mention not having to listen to that noisy dog any more…

          • fsm

            ooh, sign me up!

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    To most people, the truth is what’s so. To Ken Ham, the truth is the biggest lie that enough people will believe for him to make a profit.

    • cipher

      I do think he has a profit motive, but I don’t think he’s lying. I think he genuinely believes his nonsense, and fluctuates between cognitive dissonance and outright psychopathy.

  • MegaZeusThor

    I think Christian Mythology is pretty silly, and I don’t think it’s healthy that some people *believe* it.

    …But the kids book with bible people riding dinosaurs looks pretty awesome.

    Maybe I’m just remembering that I kinda liked the DinoRiders cartoon when I was a kid. (Now, If I really thought that was real, would I be asked to seek help?)

  • Rain

    Gotta love the wall socket and the crappy lighting in the PZ dino-riding photo. They just lend an extra touch of cheesiness to the whole thing. Just the right amount. The sneakers help out a lot too.

  • David23

    I wonder what the dinosaurs did that pissed God of so much that he wiped them off the face of the earth.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

      Most likely butt sex.

      • coyotenose

        And now I can’t stop thinking of awful sex-themed dinosaur puns. Thanks a LOT.

        Bisexatops.

        Tyranalsaurus Sex.

        …Dickplodicus.

        *facepalms*

        • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

          i believe Sir that you have won the interwebs for the day.

        • RobMcCune

          Dildonychus

          Analkylosaurus

          Fellatiraptor

          • Glasofruix

            Fellatirapetor ^^’

          • coyotenose

            That last one wins.

    • RobMcCune

      God probably got rid of Utahraptor for becoming a mormon.

  • Walrus_Callihan

    I hate to bring down the level of intelligent discourse here, but am I the only one who notices the very obvious phallus and testicles on the head of the green dinosaur?

  • Edmond

    Is that a banana split or something on that dinosaur’s nose, with PZ? What is that?

    • allein

      Looks like a stuffed bird of some kind to me.

    • John Osborne

      Many of the hadrosaurs (sp?) had large hollow crests which are thought (at least the last time I read anything about them…) to have been sound amplification adaptations, so they could honk at each other from long distances…

  • LesterBallard

    Just another lying for Jesus piece of shit.

  • http://www.wideopenground.com/ Lana

    Now that is too funny!

  • roberthughmclean

    A godbot telling fibs? What a surprise!

  • http://www.facebook.com/charlie.grimaldi.5 Charlie Grimaldi

    “There is no such thing as an atheist .. only rebels”

  • John Osborne

    The illustration above looks suspiciously like a ripoff of James Gurney’s “Dinotopia”, a children’s book, beautifully illustrated, about an island where dinosaurs survived, became civilized, and integrated with humans. Ken Ham needs to be reminded it’s a work of FICTION, however…


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