Ken Ham Isn’t Just a Liar; He’s a Bad Teacher

Remember learning FOIL in Algebra? Ask any post-Algebra math teacher what they think about FOIL and they’ll begin foaming at the mouth. It’s an annoying-at-best mnemonic because it only works for one specific kind of problem… and when the problems get more challenging, FOIL no longer applies (and students don’t know what to do).

The lesson here is simple: Catch phrases or clever sayings can be helpful, but they don’t replace actual, conceptual understanding. (I use them as infrequently as possible in my own teaching now.)

Ken Ham hasn’t figured that out yet. In fact, he’s proud of himself for indoctrinating children using Creation-specific catch phrases:

To help them remember that God created and that the design we see in life cries out, “In the beginning God,” I teach them this saying:

It’s designed to do what it does do,
And what it does do it does do well.
Doesn’t it, yes it does, I think it does.
Do you, I do, hope you do too, do you?

Yep, we’re all way more enlightened now. Who needs peer-reviewed journals when that tongue-twister tells you everything you need to know about Creation?

Not all of Ham’s memory tricks are that complicated, though.

My favorite question to teach children to ask about origins is, “Were you there?”… I teach students to remember that whenever anyone claims the earth is billions of years old, they can ask that question God asked Job: “Were you there?” It is really a way of teaching young children the difference between historical science (beliefs about the past) and observational science (direct observations that build our technology), but at their level.

In other words, it’s Ham’s way of not teaching children anything, since asking “Were you there?” is really a way of ignoring the mountains of evidence in favor of evolution. (Hey kids, were you there when Jesus died? No? I win.)

Ham argues that he also teaches children “how to think correctly”… without giving any examples at all of how he does that.

I’m going to assume it involves the Bible, another solutions manual that contains no answers.

By the way, I’m not offended by Ham’s methods because I’m an atheist. I’m offended because I’m an educator. I’m offended because I care about children.

Ham’s goal is to brainwash children with cute little sayings because those are easier to remember than the complex truths that explain evolution. Ham, more than anything else, is a marketer. He knows damn well that if he keeps telling kids that all the answers to Creation are in Genesis, they’re going to grow older and realize he’s full of shit. But if he hides that fact in a short, memorable line, they’re less likely to question it at all because they’ll assume all the truth they need is in the saying.

The kids who are forced to watch Ham speak deserve better than that.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Phil Sopher

    Still think P.Z.’s letter to a misguided child is a truly beautiful reply to Ham’s nonsense, and P.Z.’s substitute question is excellent: “How do you know that?”

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

      Thanks for sharing the link. First time I’ve read it.

    • Gus Snarp

      Perhaps P.Z.’s best work.

  • Chas, PE

    Does that mean I have to stop remembering Chief Soh-Cah-Toa??? (chin quiver)

    • fsm

      No, that would be for Trigonometry. And after 30 years I still remember that thanks to the mnemonic. So I don’t think that they are all bad.

      • kevin white

        Would you believe i apparently slept through Trig? I’ve never ever heard that one… Also, i suck at Trig.

      • Houndentenor

        Keep people clean, offer free green soap. That’s for biology, though.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Adam-Patrick/100000027906887 Adam Patrick

      Since sin, cos, and tan where in the order on a calculator, the mnemonic I used was “old hippies are happy on acid”

  • Andrew

    I just realized that I don’t know what to do with more complex polynomials or more than two binomials. Could you point me to some online resource to explain this.

    • Myrmidon

      Perhaps Khan Academy? Not sure if it has exactly what you’re looking for, but it was a great resource when i was taking a maths course.

    • unclemike

      Andrew, if you have three (or more) binomials being multiplied, I find the easist way is just to do one pair of binomials first, then multiply that answer by the next binomial, etc.

      We don’t use FOIL in my class to multiply binomials–we use multiplication boxes, which can also be used for more complex polynomial multiplication (binomial X trinomial would be a 2 X 3 box, etc.).

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZZIqyC8yxs

  • RowanVT

    My response to “were you there” would be to turn it around on them. “Were you there 200+ years ago when this country was founded? No? I guess America doesn’t exist then!”

    • Bill

      Well, we’re kinda living in it, sort of like we are living on the earth, so. . .

      The point isn’t whether or not the earth EXISTS, it’s whether it was CREATED or not. And there IS NO WAY to prove that is wasn’t created. For a truly all-powerful Being could make planets appear to be very old when He creates them. In fact, He’d kinda have to, considering that planets appear to need to spend a considerable amount of time as a hot ball of gas before they solidify.

      • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

        So, God created the universe with all this evidence to make it look exactly like it’s 13+ billion years old… Got it. So he likes tricking people. Got it. makes perfect sense.

        • Bill

          It’s not God’s fault that you decided that the “appearance of age” meant 13+ billion years old.

          • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

            Is it God’s fault that the speed with which Australia and Antarctica are moving apart coincides with the radiometric dating of marsupial fossils in Antarctica?

            Or don’t you believe that GPS works?

          • Gus Snarp

            No, I think if God existed, and you were correct, it would very much be God’s fault that he chose to trick people by providing mountains of testable evidence that all points to a 4 billion year old earth and a 13+ billion year old universe and common descent of all living things from a common ancestor through natural selection. If he gave us brains capable of reason and logic and evaluating evidence and seeing how that process works and makes our lives better every day and then provided all this evidence on one side, and on the other placed a palimpsest of religious texts written by bronze age goat herders that disagree repeatedly with the countless other religious texts believed by just as many people all over the world, then yes, it’s his fault that we believe the evidence over the authority of a dusty book.

          • baal

            So god created the world last Thursday with the fake history that you’ve lived your entire life?

      • David Starner

        The problem is, that way is down the rabbit hole. You don’t know that you aren’t more powerful then the creator, and this entire world is a trap he managed to trap you in last Tuesday, wiping your memories in the process. You don’t know anything once you accept that.

    • Vesus

      That’s a good idea but the wrong example. Don’t ask these rubes if they were there to see America founded…ask them if they were there to see Jesus born/crucified/resurrected.

      Suddenly the whole foundation of their religion is on the same plain as the science they eschew, except without the whole evidence thing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

    My personal response:

    “No, I wasn’t there. But you can see it from here.” – and then point at Andromeda, 2.2 million lightyears away / 2.2 million years ago, and talk a bit about supernovae and the Hubble flow and about the cosmic microwave background. After all, the 13.82 ± 0.05 billion year old universe should be even more of a problem for creationists than the Earth, which is only 4.55 ± 0.01 billion years old (the 10 million year uncertainty there depends on when we count the accumulating mass as the complete planet).

    • Houndentenor

      And they’ll tell you that god created the universe just that way, yes, with the light already here as emitted from a star thousands of light years away. I wish I were kidding.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

        The trick is that if someone is going to retreat to Last Thursdayism, they have to say that _everything_ in the universe was created like that. In which case all evidence is equally invalid – the Bible just as much as reality. Ham knows he can’t have people disregard everything, so he can’t retreat to that.

        • Camorris

          I wonder if Ken has a creationist scientific explanation for how his god created mountains and other elevations out of sedimentary rock that is oriented in all inclinations other than horizontal and many with fascinating folds.

          Also, where did all the water come from in the story of Noah’s flood? To cover the top of the world’s highest mountain (Everest at ~ 30M’) in 40 days and nights of continuous rain, it would have to rain everywhere globally at the rate of (30,000 X 12) inches / (40 days x 24) hours = 375 inches per hour. Does anyone believe that is possible given what we know about the rain cycle?
          And where did all this excess water recede to? Where is it now?

          Why is there no mention in the bible of the last ice age? Do creationists dispute the evidence for this geological event?

          Another thing that puzzles me is why is the number forty used so much in the bible and taken literally? There are way to many stories of events with the duration of forty that I believe the term is a synonym for “many”. Any thoughts?

          • Bill

            If you believe in an all-powerful God, is ANYTHING impossible?

            If God wanted to create the mountains with fascinating folds, He could. If He wanted to make it that way later, He could. He’s not an idiot.

            If God wants to flood the earth, the water can spontaneously appear and disappear. Because an all-powerful God Who created water can also create more water. And He can also remove it.

            If God didn’t think the ice age needed to be in the Bible, then He wouldn’t have let it in the Bible. That doesn’t make the Bible any less reliable than a paper on nuclear fission reactions that fails to mention Newton’s Second Law.

            If the Bible says 40, it means 40.

            Now, if you DON’T believe in an all-powerful God, you have to come up with a complex theory for everything. If you’re a Creationist, you still come up with complex theories for everything. The only difference is that Creationists have at their core a desire to learn more about God’s creation, whereas Evolutionists (at least primarily) seem to only want to disprove the Creationists.

            Now, evolutionists can make great discoveries using observational science, and Creationists can make great discoveries using observational science. Think of it this way – take two auto mechanics. They’re given a car to reverse-engineer. One believes that the car was made by hand; the other thinks that it was machine built. Does that change the way that the car works? Does it change the way that they study the moving parts? If they’re good mechanics, not at all.

            • Camorris

              “Because an all-powerful God Who created water can also create more water. And He can also remove it.”

              So easy to understand – the god of the Bible can magically do anything the human mind can imagine.

              • Bill

                Not the point, but OK. No less magical than the Higgs-Boson. Do we understand those yet? No. Does that mean that they’re stupid and we should dismiss them as non-existent “magical” objects?

                • Roger Peritone

                  Bill? The Higgs-Boson is at least something that can be TESTED for. God, no. As more work is done on the H-B particle, we’ll learn more about it. God, no. You can’t test god, as your statement about:

                  “If God wanted to create the mountains with fascinating folds, He could.
                  If He wanted to make it that way later, He could. He’s not an idiot.” proves.

                  Cop-out to get out of having to explain why geological formations don’t agree with the premises of a global flood and a young earth.

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

                  The Higgs boson is not magical. Go away.

            • Mario Strada

              “Evolutionists (at least primarily) seem to only want to disprove the Creationists”

              That is absurd. The only reason we are against your silly creation story is because you want to give it equal standing with real scientific theories and teach it in schools when in reality it’s no more compelling that the polynesian myth or any other supernatural creation story.

              Otherwise, no one would care if you choose to believe it in the privacy of your church.

            • David Starner

              Where’s the evidence that modern-day creationists can make great discoveries? A few of them have published some minor papers, but all the great and even average discoveries seem to go to evolutionists who accept what their eyes are telling them.

  • C Peterson

    So what… you’re contrasting Ham with the liars who are good teachers?

    Question: if you are effective at convincing people to believe lies as truth, does that make you a good teacher or a bad one?

    • fsm

      No, it makes you a good politician.

      • jay

        Like Hemant

    • ZombieBear

      Most things we are taught are lies. This is not a bad thing. For example, we are taught in chemistry that an atom is a core, with electrons in a fixed orbit. But then we learn that is wrong, but a helpful lie that helps us understand how atoms kind of work, and then we learn that electrons zip about in a cloud, and that in turn is replaced by the idea of a field where a field of electron probability exists, where there is a likelihood that an electron exists in this area, then we learn that the solid atomic core of neutrons and protons are not actually solid but made up of even smaller particles. The point is that the previous lies are unnecessary to get a base, where later lies would just confuse, and in some cases the exact truth is not known, but the lies work well enough to explain natural processes.

      Here the lieing is bad because it does not help build a basis of understanding for more complex ideas.

      • C Peterson

        There is a big difference between a simplified model of something and a lie. The simplified model is a tool that helps a student develop a better understanding of nature. In no reasonable way can that be considered a lie. (FWIW, I never teach my middle school students that electrons are in orbits, or that protons and neutrons are solid. These ideas are not necessary to advance knowledge. Like Hemant with his concern about FOIL, I prefer to teach more general concepts that don’t have to be unlearned as the subject becomes more advanced.)

        In fact, I am reluctant to call Ham a liar, as it is possible that he believes what he teaches. Of course, what he teaches is most certainly wrong, but that just means Ham may be a deluded fool, not necessarily a liar. One can be wrong, even grossly so as in this case, without being a liar.

        • John_in_Vegas

          Ham is most definitely a liar. He makes too much money to be a deluded fool.

          • C Peterson

            You might well be right, but like I said, I don’t know that for sure. I prefer to simply point out that Ham is teaching factually wrong material, regardless of his actual beliefs or motives.

            • http://www.facebook.com/nekko.erickson Nekko Mason Erickson

              Just because he believes something doesn’t negate the fact that what he is teaching is a lie. He propagates lies and subverts the truth. He may be deluded, or he may be a clever charlatan, either way he is still a liar.

              • C Peterson

                I don’t really have a good sense of what it means to teach a lie. But I don’t believe that a person who teaches a falsehood that they happen to believe is true can be called a liar.

                In any case, if I call Ham a liar, I’m making a claim I can’t substantiate (although it may well be true). But I can confidently make the claim that he is teaching material that is factually wrong, and back that claim up with solid evidence.

                • indorri

                  He’s either a liar or such an egregious fool that he is morally indistinguishable from a liar. I don’t think stiff-necked, proudful ignorace of evidence-based reasoning to prop up your belief system can be considered sincere.

            • John_in_Vegas

              I agree with your reasoning. My remark was meant to be more snark than disagreement. Sorry.

        • Wayne

          “What he believes is most certainly wrong.” is begging the question, as that is the very issue in question.

      • http://www.facebook.com/Scott.McElhiney Redorblack Nigelbottom

        I’ve been out of school for about 30 years… but think I remember having electron clouds covered and Schrodinger’s Cat explained about the same time. Yes the teacher used a simplified model, but while I remember the “powers of 10″ showing how how the closer you looked at things the more empty space there was and that nothing was “solid”.

  • vic

    Typical religious crap. “Were you there?” Why can’t this same question be applied to the nonsense in the Bible? How about asking the question to those who wrote the New Testament more than 100 years after the so-called events took place?

    • Valancy Jane

      I always do wonder why we never hear creationism-minded Christians responding to that question when it’s applied to their religion. Has anybody ever asked one of them that and gotten an answer?

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

        The usual creationist response is to cite the Bible and say “they were there”. Which of course is false, but accuracy is apparently not a notable concern.

        • RowanVT

          Well then, the rocks were there. And the dinosaurs were there.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

            Exactly.

      • trj

        Their answer is: “No, I wasn’t there, but God was, and he made sure to pass everything on this history book called the Bible.”

        • Bill

          Actually, their answer is “We weren’t there, so we’re accepting it on faith. Sort of like how you’re accepting evolution on faith.”

          Not a bad answer, if you ask me.

          • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

            Faith is believing things without evidence, or in contradiction to evidence. Evidence is for a 4+ billion year old earth. Faith is believing it’s much much much less than that, in contradiction to evidence.

            • Bill

              False. You have faith that your evidence is for a 4+ billion old earth. . . I have faith that that same evidence is for a significantly younger one. So both of us could go on for hours asking, “Where’s the evidence for your evidence?” or we could all just accept that it is impossible to live without faith. . .

              • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                Faith is not the same thing as trust.

                • Bill

                  Faith:
                  Complete trust or confidence in someone or something

                  Source: New Oxford American Dictionary

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  Ok, the definitions rely on each other. Then “I have an overall understanding of the evidence for an ancient earth, and I trust that the evidence has been presented accurately, and I trust that the intimate details have been understood, checked, re-checked, and verified by people more qualified than myself. I have this trust because the scientific method ratchets towards the truth, with errors discovered and corrected, which is why the understood age of the earth has oscillated with smaller and smaller perturbations to arrive at the figure we have today with an extremely small but existent margin of error.”

                  Here’s another way of looking at it, I trust things that can conceivably be proved wrong. I would have faith in something that could never be proved wrong.

                • Bill

                  The Bible hasn’t really yet (unless you’ve got screwy sources) so. . .

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  Aside from the fact that you never answered the http://www.easterquiz.com/ the point isn’t IF something has been proven wrong, but CAN it conceptually be proven wrong. I realize it’s a subtle difference.

                  Let’s try this- “I’m God, prove me wrong”. You can’t. There is no way for you to prove that I’m not God, and I’m making you say whatever I want. Except when I don’t, because I don’t feel like it. I don’t have to prove anything to you, I’m just letting you in on the truth so you’ll have a chance to accept it. But you’ll have to have faith. And if you don’t, we’ll I’m not going to take away your free will by proving to you that I’m God. It’s your choice.

                  See, that’s useless. I could be right, but without any conceivable way to prove I’m not God, my claim to being God is no better than anyone else’s claim to be God.

                  Even when we prove the bible has errors, you can claim that God intended for it to be “not so clear as to remove free will”. When we point out that God condones slaves being inherited as property, and children born into slavery being slaves for life (not just 6 years) you can claim God was somehow constrained by human sin and human free will.

                  No matter how wrong the bible is, if you think you’ve got God behind you, you can make up whatever bullshit you want and claim it’s “God’s word”.

                  Great. A couple of guys named Muhammad and Joseph Smith have some new news for you. Go argue with them over who’s got the real latest word.

                • ToTripoli

                  The Bible hasn’t been proven wrong?
                  Ahem.
                  Rabbits don’t chew cud, but the Bible says they do.
                  Bats are not fowls, but the Bible says they are.
                  The order of creation in Genesis 2 contradicts Genesis 1.
                  All the species of the world could not have fit on a ship smaller than a modern cruiseliner.
                  There is not enough water on the planet to flood the land enough to cover the mountains; of course, there is no other evidence for said flood, either.
                  There is no evidence that a race of giants, as described in Genesis, ever existed.
                  Tyre was not destroyed, most certainly not “forever.” It’s actually a thriving city right now.

                  That’s just a few things incorrect in the Bible – and that’s not even the contradictions between versions.

                • Myrmidon

                  Stop being a disingenuous pedant. Are you seriously claiming that religious faith, i.e. in something unknown, unknowable, and utterly beyond understanding, is precisely the same thing as “faith”, or trust, that the earth will not suddenly stop revolving around the sun five minutes from now despite all evidence to the contrary?

                  I’ll say it again: Stop being a disingenuous pedant. You are conflating two completely different concepts which, through linguistic conventions, just happen to be homonyms. I suppose it’s possible that you believe a weapon which shoots arrows is exactly the same as a particular tying of a length of ribbon or string; i very much doubt it. Maybe i should give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that this is a failing of the English language itself, rather than a personal failure (and attempt at willful ignorance) on your part. Or maybe not.

                  Once more, with feeling: Stop being a disingenuous pedant.

                • Bill

                  You stop being a disingenuous pedant. <–(unrelated snarky response) You assume that religious faith is unknown and unknowable because you refuse to try to know or understand it. It all falls under your worldview.

                • Myrmidon

                  Oh really? You don’t believe that your god’s ways are unknowable? You don’t believe that “no one really knows”? Please. You’ve said as much. But by all means, keep playing the fool.

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

                  You are wrong. Many atheists and agnostics in the US know more about religion than most religious people. Many of us were raised in a religious tradition, learned quite a bit about it and about other traditions, recognized that all religious claims are unsupported, and so walked away. I refer you to the data: http://www.pewforum.org/u-s-religious-knowledge-survey.aspx

                  Your Argument Is Invalid.

              • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

                No. Science does not work on faith. Science works on evidence, derived from empirically-verified external reality.

                If you don’t believe me when I tell you that I’ve counted the uranium and lead atoms in a set of rocks, and from that and all of the accumulated verifications of quantum mechanics we know that the rocks are 4.567 billion years old (for the oldest rocks in the solar system), you can go out and find similar rocks and count the atoms in them.

                Likewise, if you don’t believe that the universe is 13.82 ± 0.05 billion years old, you can go and repeat the experiments that show that the speed of light is constant and that the most distant things we see were 13.82 billion lightyears away when the light left them.

                “Where’s the evidence for your evidence?” is an important part of science. But that ends when we get down to direct physical observations of the universe.

          • Gus Snarp

            No, it’s a very bad answer because the truth is that no one is basing their beliefs on faith. You base yours on received tradition and the authority of a collection of bronze age stories and the words of priests because it is what you were taught from a young age and it doesn’t conflict with any of your comfortable preconceived notions and because you are ignorant of the real evidence, the scientific method and process, and basic reason and logic.

            We base ours on overwhelming scientific evidence tested and used every. single. day. The age of the Earth is determined by radiometric dating, not carbon dating, but dating based on a number of isotopes that all have much longer half lives than C14, based on a known process of decay. A process so well known and so precise that we can take a radioactive isotope in a tiny amount and place it next to a small detector and reliably determine when there is smoke in the air based on how many decay particles are received by the detector. These smoke detectors have saved many lives by enabling people to escape from fires they would never have detected in time on their own. And if that process weren’t incredibly precise and didn’t allow us to date the earth, then those people would all be dead. But there are many more pieces of evidence, and they all converge on the same answer and have been repeatedly tested and repeatedly upheld.

            That’s a different standard of evidence, not a matter of faith.

            But here we are talking about billions of years. How old does Ken Ham say the earth is? 6,000 years? We have very clear evidence of human civilization before that. We have plants older than that. It’s a joke.

  • Carmelita Spats

    Short memorable lines…This is classic cult brainwashing…In the Catholic Church (Mexican Opus Dei) they taught us phrases that we had to repeat over and over and over again…It’s a thought stopping technique…Words are tools we use to think and the repetition of “special words/phrases” constricts, rather than expands understanding…It’s obvious child abuse.

    • http://twitter.com/docslacker MD

      Oh, damn, Opus Dei. Shudder.

    • anniewhoo

      You touch on an important point, about learned prayers being a thought-stopping technique. It really does work.

    • It’sjustme

      so is constantly telling others that what they believe is stupid or unfounded garbage or that they are wrong for believing in God. All humans “brainwash” each other to some degree. We teach children about the Roman empire and about the Civil war, etc but none of us were there. we take eye witness accounts and written documents found from that time as evidence. the same for the Bible and those who wrote it. Many of the New testament books were written by those who either walked with Jesus or those who knew of him. just because it was written years after Jesus’ death and resurrection or was found years later, doesn’t mean that it is a fable or didn’t happen. Is “were you there” a good question to ask? Most likely no. but for a child, it is a simple thing to remember. But I would be more concerned about a child getting into a debate about theology rather than being taught to ask that question.

      • TheBlackCat13

        There are no eyewitness accounts of Jesus, not even second-hand accounts. It is almost certainly the case that nobody who wrote any part of the Bible had ever met anyone who had claimed to have met Jesus.

        • Bill

          Matthew and John?

          And don’t just tell me that they made it up; we could apply that to any book in history. Just think – in a few thousand years, nobody will be able to prove that Charles Darwin wrote “Of the Origin of Species. . .” what will people believe then?

          • RobMcCune

            Depends on what sources they have for Darwin’s existence. Besides it’s a lot easier to believe that a man wrote a book than in a magic savoir of all mankind.

            • Bill

              It’s easy to believe that a man wrote a book. It’s a lot harder to believe the stuff IN the book that the man wrote.

              • RobMcCune

                I know what were Matthew and John smoking?

                • Bill

                  Smart. But since they were Jews and adhered to strict dietary laws, nothing.

                  Darwin, on the other hand. . .

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

                  No, the writers of the Gospel were not Jewish.

                  The Gospel of John was not written by a single person, and was not composed until a century after the time it is set, and its authors were notably antisemitic. I give references: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_John .

                  The synoptic gospels all derive from a single common source; the Gospel of Mark was the first one written and the texts of Luke and Matthew lifted from it. Mark was written for a non-Jewish-descended Christian community. Luke was also written for a Greek-speaking non-Jewish audience. The writers of Matthew attempted to make a more Jewish-friendly gospel, using Mark as the primary source. And another reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_Mark .

                • Bill

                  You cite Wikipedia? Don’t make me laugh.

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  Right. Because wikipedia has citations that can be checked and verified, and a method for correction of errors.

                  Unlike the Bible which gets things wrong right from the start and never changes, and can never be checked. You just have to have faith. Faith that if God tells you to kill your kid, you’re not supposed to get an MRI to make sure you don’t have a brain tumor, you’re supposed to obey God and kill your kid.

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

                  Yes, I cite Wikipedia. And no, you should not laugh – you should _read those articles and check their sources_. Wikipedia is convenient because it indexes much of the relevant historical literature and provides the references to it. Offhand, I could have cited a half-dozen different sources about the authorships of the Gospels, including the original texts themselves, which do not claim to be written by the people that later tradition would ascribe them to and are in Koine Greek rather than Aramaic. But Wikipedia indexes a much broader section of the literature and summarizes the evidence and conclusions in an accessible form.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

            Incorrect. Darwin existed. We have his portraits and photographs, we have all of his correspondence (both in original form and many many copies dating back to the day after some of the originals were written), and all of the material about him that others produced in his lifetime. His remains are entombed in Westminster, and we have his family and descendants if you really want to confirm that the body in that grave was him. None of that is true for a historical Jesus.

            And if Darwin existed is _irrelevant_ to evolutionary biology: the evidence is independent of who first organized it. But if Jesus never existed, all of Christianity is based on nothing but myths.

            • Tommykey69

              Plus these YEC types always seem to forget Alfred Wallace, a contemporary of Darwin who also independently hit on the same idea.

              As for it’sjustme’s comments, yes we rely heavily on the writings of Roman historians for our knowledge of the Roman republic and empire. But we don’t accept 100% of what they write on face value. Any good historian will know that a primary source was written by someone with their own personal biases and agendas and who may have relied themselves on information that was not always completely accurate.

              • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

                Which suggests that few of the young-Earth creationists have actually read Darwin, since he acknowledges Wallace on the first page of the Origin.

  • http://www.facebook.com/travis.myers.102977 Travis Myers

    “Ken Ham Isn’t Just a Liar; He’s a Bad Teacher.”

    This falls under the category of common knowledge.

  • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

    Quoted from Ken Ham: “My favorite question to teach children to ask about origins is, ‘Were you there?’”

    Assuming this is a fair question for Kennie to ask kids, then it’s a fair question to ask him. So I’ll ask it. Mr Ham, “Were you there? Can you confirm, via your own personal, eyewitness testimony, that each and every word of Genesis happened precisely as it’s found in your own Bible?”

    I’d love to have an answer. Then again, maybe I don’t want to. It will, no doubt, be a variation on, “I wasn’t there, but God was, and he told us what happened! It’s in my Bible and I know it because IT SAYS SO right in there!!! How DARE you question ME or my God! You should be FORCED to believe it, you vile insolent agnostic heathen!!!”

    • Bill

      But you don’t know what he’d say, do you? Because you don’t know him. I can give you a better idea of what he might say:

      “No, I wasn’t there. I’m accepting my beliefs on faith, just as you are accepting evolution on faith.”

      • RobMcCune

        Christian relativism, the last refuge of people with no evidence.

        • Bill

          Dismissal – the post-last refuge of people with no evidence.

          • Sean Doherty

            We have evidence, you just refuse to accept it.

            • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

              Or even look at it. Based on what’s been said on here about carbon dating, and cosmology and molecular genetics, and evolution in general, I have serious doubts that any of the guests from Ken Ham’s page have ever independently researched any of it. Their misunderstandings are at such a basic level, I can only guess that they’ve gotten their understanding from Ken and people Ken points them to alone.

              None of them have actually read anything (other than quote mines) from Francis Collins or Ken Miller, let alone Jerry Coyne or Steven Gould.

      • Roger Peritone

        Wrong. Evolution has been tested and tested…each time it passed.
        http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/

        And each and every claim of creationists have bitten the dust:
        http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/list.html

        Here’s a thought experiment for you Bill: Creationists claim that humans have no relation to the apes whatsoever. Yet, there are many examples of creationists not being consistent with trying to peg the same fossil skulls within the “ape” or “human” groups.
        http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/homs/compare.html

        Such confusion would be what one would expect with transitional forms between the two groups. What’s your opinion, Bill?

  • jdm8

    “Thinking correctly” really isn’t, it’s just repeating his beliefs as he sees it. It’s not a search for the truth, because they believe they’ve already found it, and they brook nothing that takes them away from the answer they’re clinging too.

    “Were you there” seems to be an ideal path to solipsism, if applied to its logical conclusion, i.e., everything.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    Ugh, the “Were you there?” routine. My response once to a rube who asked me that in regards to evolution was this:

    “If you’re saying that the only acceptable evidence for a claim is an eyewitness account, then almost all crimes would never be solved. For most crimes, the only eyewitness is the criminal, and he’s probably not going to come forward to tell us what he saw. If footprints, fingerprints, tire tracks, fibers, soil traces, spent bullets, wounds, blood and other body material samples, genetic tests, gunpowder traces, and many other forms of physical evidence were all unacceptable, then hundreds of thousands of criminals would walk free.

    If you found muddy footprints leading from the puddle outside to your
    kid’s room and his muddy shoes, but you didn’t actually witness him
    tracking it into the house, you would nave nothing to complain about to
    him.

    If your parked car was damaged by a hit-and-run driver but your
    insurance agent did not actually witness the collision, then you would
    never be awarded your claim.

    If your doctor could not make a diagnosis of your illness by the symptoms, but could only decide what to do if he actually witnessed microbes destroying your cells, then he probably could not help you, and you might die of a curable disease.

    You accept non-eyewitness evidence all the time.”

    • Philbert

      Yes I was there. How do you know I wasn’t? Were YOU there?

    • ORAXX

      And…..as every detective can tell you, eye witness accounts are notoriously unreliable.

    • Carpinions

      You may be right, but with 4 paragraphs, you’ve lost. In a debate format you would sound like an “egghead” scientist, only confirming Ham’s insidious caricature. The point of the Gishs and Hams of the world is to make us squawk in the ways they openly mock in front of their pliable audience, and then point out amusingly “Ha! See? I told you they’d do that.” And they’ll get off the hook from answering your argument because everyone will be focused on the strawman of you Ham created.

      The were-you-there argument can be assaulted immediately, just as Hemant pointed out. “Oh you weren’t there to see Jesus die AND rise from the dead?” That retort when given will be so obvious to even the people trying to use it against you that even favorable audiences will (should) internally think “oh crap, that blew up in my face…” All the theist has left after that is to reassert with a “supporting argument” that is shamelessly faithy nonsense, and it won’t have much of an impact because the substance will obviously be missing, and you won’t have to point out why.

      • Tom

        Just a thought… If the Jesus resurrected story was made up, when was it introduced? Jesus was a real man (this is clearly documented in many places outside the Bible). Thousands of people saw Jesus with holes in his hands and on his body. Also well documented. So, if the resurrection story never happened, when in time would this hoax have started? 2000 yrs ago? 500 yrs ago? 50 yrs ago? Doesn’t make sense to me that it could be a fraud. Now, if you don’t want to believe it, that’s an entirely different issue. You’ll have your chance to explain that when you’ve taken your last breath and are face to face with GOD.

        • TheBlackCat13

          If the Jesus resurrected story was made up, when was it introduced?

          The resurrection myth is a standard part of the mystery religions that were popular in the region at the time. In fact, by all counts Christianity is a pretty textbook example of these religions. So the resurrection was almost certainly borrowed from these religions when Christianity was first founded.

          When the idea that Jesus was an actual historical figure first arose is unclear. It seems pretty clear that this was not the standard belief when the Epistles were written. It is less clear whether the author of Mark a few decades later really considered Jesus a historical figure or if gospel was written more to teach lessons. Only the gospel of Luke actually claims to be a historical account, but it was mostly copied from Mark, which makes no such claim. So it was probably sometime between the time of Saul to the time of Luke, if the author of Luke was telling the truth.

          Jesus was a real man (this is clearly documented in many places outside the Bible).

          There are no claims of historical accounts regarding Jesus written until at least a generation after the supposed events. Not one. Nobody wrote anything about Jesus until decades later. There is absolutely zero contemporary evidence for Jesus or many of the events that surrounded him. This is despite the fact that he was a major celebrity with a massive following.

          Doesn’t make sense to me that it could be a fraud.

          So is scientology a fraud? What about Buddhism? Heaven’s Gate? The Moonies? Pretty much by definition you must consider them to be frauds. But fundamentally there is no difference, except for the fact that there is much more contemporary evidence for all of them than there is for Jesus.

          • Tom

            Very nice, eloquent response. It’s just not true. Let the readers research the historical writings for themselves.
            “When Christianity was first founded”

            That was when?

            The only difference that matters to me with Jesus and all the others is that He conquered death and rose again to speak to his followers. So when would this hoax have been introduced and accepted by the people living at that time?

            • TheBlackCat13

              So, can you name any reliable, contemporary historical accounts? The rest of your post is baseless if you can’t establish that.

              • Bill

                Why must historical accounts be contemporary? My experience has always been that the older the history book, the more accurate and detailed it is in regards to older events.

                • RobMcCune

                  Reliable primary sources are best. Herodotus comes to mind as an example of a source that is very in accurate, but much closer to the events he wrote about.

                • Myrmidon

                  Contemporary to the time of the events written about, not today.

                • Gus Snarp

                  Contemporary means written at the time the events were taking place, not modern.

                • jay

                  Uhm…in that case the N.T accounts of the Bible would classify as contemporary then wouldn’t it? Does anyone discount Plato and his teachings and say that they aren’t historically accurate? Yet the earliest “sayings” and teachings from him are much further removed on the timeline than the Bible was. What about Homer’s Iliad? I can go on if you’d like me to. No one says that those writings aren’t “contemporary” enough yet there’s a MUCH bigger gap that takes place

                • TheBlackCat13

                  We have books written by Plato, as well as numerous accounts of people who lived with him at the time, saw him, met him, and spoke with him.

                  There is nothing like that in the N.T. We have absolutely no writings of anyone who even claimed to have met a historical Jesus. In fact the gospel of Mark, which is what both Matthew and Luke were based off of, doesn’t even claim to be a historical account at all (only Luke claims to be a historical account, and it was largely copied from Mark and either Matthew or another, now lost gospel).

                  Nobody who wrote the Epistles claimed to have met a historical Jesus, or claims to have met anyone who met a historical Jesus, in fact it is questionable whether the writers of the Epistles actually believed in Jesus as recent historical figure. No historical source outside of the Bible claims to have met a historical Jesus, or even met anyone who met anyone who met anyone who met a historical Jesus.

                  So we have a lot of first-hand, contemporary accounts of Plato. On the other hand, we have zero contemporary accounts of Jesus and zero first-hand or second-hand accounts of Jesus, not to mention first-hand contemporary accounts.

                • Gus Snarp

                  Really? Are you this ignorant? What timeline do you think Plato’s teachings are removed from? Homer? These people existed. We have their writings and the writings of MANY others who lived at the same time and knew them. There’s no doubt they existed. But the contents of their works? You think people believe Plato is an accurate historian? You think the Iliad isn’t generally assumed to be a work of fiction, with a few historical bits thrown in? No one thinks the Iliad is an accurate historical account. Two of Plato’s contemporaries, Xenophon and Aristophanes corroborate his writing about Socrates, who would have been contemporary to all three, but you will still find people who dispute the existence of Socrates because they consider these three sources to be inadequate.

            • Gus Snarp

              A few decades to a century after the supposed events. When was it accepted by the people? That’s a vague question. The people in the early Christian cult? Probably accepted as soon as it was made up. Broader acceptance? When Emperor Constantine told them to, around 313.

            • http://www.facebook.com/rebel.mcleod Erin Hathway Weaver

              Tom, as BlackCat13 said, resurrection was a standard theme in mystery religions of the time. Why is it that you believe the Christian resurrection story is different from the others in its idea of conquering death?

            • Mario Strada

              How about you provide links for those proofs you have?

            • matthew

              Lemme know when we start taking the search for Atlantis seriously.

          • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

            Did Muhammad ascend to heaven on a winged horse?

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=647371049 Todd Sampson

          I hate to break it to you but there are no contemporary accounts of him as a person. Not one. You have what is thought to be a forgery that could be within his lifetime however it doesn’t mention him as a man himself, just the brother. And that’s about it.

        • Pureone

          “Doesn’t make sense to me”= argument from incredulity/ignorance. Pascals wager? Oooooohhhh, breaking out the threats instead of evidence or logic.

        • decathelite

          “Thousands of people saw Jesus with holes in his hands…Also well documented.”

          No. What you have is ONE AUTHOR (Paul), who claims that he knew of 500 people who saw Jesus.

          I have a 500 pound friend who ran a 4 minute mile. 500 people saw him do it.

          Now if I can convince 500 superstitious people that the story about my friend is true, we have religion.

    • Tom

      This is precisely the point. No one was there! You can only address historical events in one way. We must separate ‘science’ from ‘forensic science’. Science allows us to learn from the natural phenomena important laws and gain knowledge to help us in the future. Forensic science is the study of existing evidence to explain the past. In this forensic science example, I’ll refer to this specifically as Origins to address questions such as where did we come from, when did life begin, how old is the earth, etc. Origins is definitely not science! And by definition, a belief structure supporting where we came from, when life began, etc is called your ‘religion’. So, your humanist religion called evolution can be put to the test against my Christian religion and the debate may begin. But please, stop saying you know evolution to be true because of scientific data. Science doesn’t explain the past. And yes I agree, the ‘were you there’ routine is absurd…as long as we both adhere to it.

      • RobMcCune

        Science can address the past the same way it address the present, by creating the best explanation from the available evidence. If the evidence regarding origins changes guess what, the science changes. The christian myth on the other hand stays the same. Basing one’s understanding on evidence is exactly what makes science not the arbitrary thing christians like to claim that it is whenever inconvenient facts come along.

        • Tom

          Rob, you’re right back where we started. Yours is the best explanation, hence you’re right, therefore yours is the right conclusion. Nooooo, yours isn’t conclusive, you can change your explanation whenever you want, but you haven’t proven anything. No need to try again. I got your argument.

          • RobMcCune

            I’ll take canned responses for $300, Alex.

            Try responding to actual points I made.

          • baal

            Tom, are you aware that it’s not only possible but relatively easy to take a human gene sequence, put it into a fruit fly with a specific genetic defect in its fly gene and actually fix the fly? That’s 1 piece of evidence that we share a common ancestry. Turns out there is a lot of data like that; it’s published in peer reviewed science journals.

        • TheBlackCat13

          @ Tom: you completely ignored the key factor here: evidence.

        • jay

          Except that some people are corrupt and falsify data. Speaking as a science teacher and one who has an advance degree in the field.

          Global warming anyone? Missing links in the fossil record?

          • RobMcCune

            Wow, you have advanced degrees in both biology and climatology? You must be incredibly smart and hardworking. You are going against the opinion of most of the people who study either evolution or global warming full time.

            How did the overarching conspiracy let you get a degree in both those fields?

      • Gus Snarp

        I recommend that you read “Your Inner Fish”. We can identify the genetic similarities in every living thing on earth. We can take the gene that tells a rat where to grow a hand and insert it into a developing fruit fly embryo and it will grow an extra leg at that location. The same genetic structures code for the basics of limbs in every animal that has them. The same is true of every other body structure. The odds of these kinds of genetic commonalities existing between humans and fruit flies outside of common descent are beyond astronomical. It effectively couldn’t happen by chance. We can also predict in advance what kind of creatures we’ll see in particular geological conditions based on all that “forensic science”. Then we can go to an area with the appropriate geology and find exactly what we’re looking for. And it’s been done. Tiktalik, a link between fish and early land animals, was found in just this manner. And not once will we find rabbit fossils in the beds with Tiktalik, let alone in jurassic deposits. We can, and have, made predictions based on evolutionary theory and those predictions have repeatedly been tested and found solid. This is pure experimental science, as good as it gets (setting aside the fact that your distinction is completely made up anyway). If you choose to believe in a God who created a world to intentionally provide all the evidence to show that it was over 4 billion years old and that every living thing on it evolved from a common single celled ancestor over a few billion years just to trick us and test us, you can believe that, but don’t pretend the evidence isn’t real.

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          The odds of these kinds of genetic commonalities existing between humans and fruit flies outside of common descent are beyond astronomical.

          ya, but I think we know where that’s going to go. It says “common descent” to us, but a YEC hears “astronomical odds, God must have done it then!”

          It’s not just the ‘good’ things, or even the ‘good things turned off’ but the ‘bad’ things. Like God could have made us without the genes to code for tails. Or he could have made us with our own chromosome 2, not by fusing two other ape chromosomes together. Sure, God could do it that way, but, then it sure seems like he’s trying to trick us into thinking that we’re related to apes…

        • jay

          Wait, I got this one. “Beyond Astronomical” you mean like the odds that “life started from a primordial soup odds, or the “there are infinite amounts of universes and we just happen to exist in the lucky one” odds or the “aliens planted life on earth” odds?

          • Gus Snarp

            None of the above. Those odds cannot be calculated. Those things seem unlikely to you, but that’s a product of our brains being evolved to create large social orders and evade lions, not to grasp the complexity of the universe.

            The odds that so many living things have so many DNA sequences in common, among all the possible ways that DNA could code for the exact same proteins by chance rather than by common descent IS calculable, and I’m sorry I don’t have the actual number on me, but it is HUGE. And when I say HUGE and “beyond astronomical”, I mean that the number is so large that it dwarfs the massive numbers that astronomers deal with on a regular basis. It’s a real, calculable, big (well, actually, really small, the denominator is really big, but I digress) number based on science, probability, and statistics, not a “gee, that seems really unlikely” based on not understanding the science.

      • Gus Snarp

        Interestingly, biology was not a predictive or experimental science before Darwin. It was all about cataloging and listing and describing (it was not alone among sciences in this respect at the time). Here is an animal. Here is where we’ve found it. This is what we’ve seen it eat. Evolution provided the theoretical framework necessary to generate hypotheses and test them. All biology since rests on that framework.

      • Proud Creationist

        thank you, tom! atleast someone is getting the idea of Ken Ham’s question!

      • Mario Strada

        I have been an atheist for over 40 years. For 30 of those years I have never connected my atheism with evolution. Not once. Evolution was simply a framework based on evidence that explained how life evolved. Likewise for the theories concerning the cosmos. None of them made me or reinforced my atheism.

        The only reason you identify atheists with evolutionary theory is because at some point you decided to take creationism, and then ID as “alternate theories” and made up a strategy to teach them in public schools as alternatives.

        As humanists we value science and truth. Yours is neither and having powerful people with primitive beliefs stunt the education of our children is more than any of us can take. Even for those of us without children, because we know what kind of society your beliefs would create.

        But evolution is not a tenet of our “religion”. Not even close. If science demonstrated tomorrow a valid alternative, we would simply look at the evidence and change our mind.

        For you it is a very different story. You have to combat evolution and try to discredit it, even to the point of lying about it because if evolution is true the entire edifice of Christianity falls apart.

        Without Adam and Eve there is no sin, without a sin there is no need for Jesus to come to earth, die and resuscitate.
        While I think you should be more honest about this issue, I really cannot blame you for denying the science that pretty much makes all of you wrong.

        Evolution is but one of the many scientific facts in an atheist life. Not terribly important either on a day to day basis. Without it, we would still be atheists and have plenty of reasons to remain such.

        Without your creation story, you are nothing. Your theology vaporizes.

        I say, good riddance.

      • baal

        “We must separate ‘science’ from ‘forensic science’.”<—This statement is evidence that you do not actually understand what science is.

      • Andy Anderson

        Tom, do you ever worry about God calling you to account for all the people you drove away from Him by using dishonest arguments? You’ve got far more to fear than any atheist. Better go find a millstone and a largish body of water.

  • rustygh

    This is why I’m an angry atheist. It makes me mad to see this happen to children. Its abuse that some may never get over. Its sad.

    • guest

      That was my first thought too… These happy, smiling children are being taught stultifying nonsense. It’s heartbreaking.

      • Bill

        So they’re being taught that they were created by an all-powerful being who has a purpose for them. You would teach them that they’re a happy accident that came from a bubbling stew of organic chemicals. What’s more abusive? Telling a child he’s worthless or telling him that he has a purpose? But all that aside, let’s look at the REAL, SET-IN-STONE facts that we can accept as true without too much faith:

        None of us were there.

        None of us can prove how the universe came to be.

        None of us could ever understand a truly all-powerful being.

        None of us could ever understand the statistical impossibility that is evolution.

        Nobody can prove ANYTHING about origins. If you hand a newborn to the wrong parents, it wouldn’t know the difference unless an outside force came in and told it so somewhere along the line. One of the differences between Creation and Evolution is that Creationists believe an outside force has come in and told them so. Evolutionists are just doing the best they can do alone to prove that their (metaphorical) parent never existed in the first place.

        • RobMcCune

          I’d say telling children their created to be a pawn, and they must have no needs, thoughts, or actions outside of intended purpose or be punished is the abusive one.

          • Bill

            I’d say you don’t know what Christianity is, or what God wants for those who believe in it. Pawn has nothing to do with it.

            • baal

              Bil, I’ll assume you’re ignorant instead of mean. Most of the readers here were devout followers of Christ and even into their 30-40′s. Thinking, education and just being fed up at all the lies from that religion drove them to be atheists. Go read Cammels_with_Hammers a little. That extremely kind man can barely suppress his rage at the notion that he wasn’t a good enough christian. To suggest otherwise is really insulting.

        • Myrmidon

          “What’s more abusive? Telling a child he’s worthless or telling him that he has a purpose?”

          Do you think i tell my child that he’s worthless? Do you think i believe life has no point? No, you doddering dupe, i tell him that i love him, and that he is one of the most important parts of my life. I tell him that the purpose of life — of his life and my own — is whatever purpose we assign to it, for good or for ill.

          Deny reality all you like; i can’t stop you. But i can push with all my might for a brighter and better tomorrow, for a human race that values knowledge of actual things that actually happen over myths and fables.

          Time and History are against you. And so am i.

        • Gus Snarp

          Actually, the level of genetic similarity among all living things on earth is so high that anything OTHER than evolution is a statistical impossibility. Obviously, you don’t understand the evidence, the process, the theory, or statistics.

        • Mario Strada

          Do you ever get tired of being an ignorant troll?

        • Roger Peritone

          Some “purpose” Bill: Worship me or burn in hell forever!

          Bill: Read the talkorigin links I gave earlier. You are dismissing evidence left and right to claim that no one can prove “ANYTHING” about origins. We know the age of the universe and the earth, the WMAP field (http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/features/news/10mar08.html) shows strong proof of the big bang, etc. While you people demand that some thousands of years old book be taken as the final authority no matter that it’s loaded with mistakes.
          http://www.rejectionofpascalswager.net/bibleanalysis.html

          By the way, we DO have a general idea of how people like Ham wold act when given evidence that goes against their views: They will dismiss or ignore it. Why? See their “statement of faith”!

        • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

          Well, many Christians teach their children that they are worthless. That they’re evil little bundles of sin who are bad people, but Jesus loves them anyway and saved them even though they don’t deserve it because they’re evil little bundles of sin. That is horrible. That is abusive.

          I will teach my children that their lives have the purpose they give it. In the end, we all live and then we die, but we can give our lives purpose by being meaningful to the people around us. We live on in our deeds and how we change the world and in the memories of our loved ones. As a wise (and funny) man said, “We have one life, and it is short, and unimportant. But thanks to recent scientific advances, I get to live TWICE as long as my great-great-great-great aunts and uncles. Twice as long to live this life of mine. Twice as long to love this wife of mine. Twice as many years of friends and wine and sharing curries …” And when we die, we decay into the elements in the soil that make the plants grow, renewing life as once we consumed it.

  • Rain

    “Were you there?” It is really a way of teaching young children the difference between historical science (beliefs about the past) and observational science (direct observations that build our technology), but at their level.

    It’s a little more sinister than that. It’s a way of teaching young children that scientists are too dumb too realize that they weren’t there. “Oops! I forgot I wasn’t there! I’m a dumb scientist!” Yeah, it really is that sinister.

    • Roger Peritone

      Exactly. To show how stupid and smart-assed that “were you there” question really is, imagine it being used in a court of law against a forensics expert who just testified. With Ham’s reasoning, all the evidence that the forensics person brought up would be brushed aside with that question: “Were you there”?

  • Uzza

    Were you there when God laid the foundations of the earth? (Job 38:1) No, but according to God all the morning stars were (Job 38:7) and they all tell me it was millions of years ago.

  • SeekerLancer

    “Were you there?”

    “No, and neither were you. Let’s compare evidence and see whose theories seem more likely.”

    • Bill

      That’d be Creationism. Just think; if God created the universe as it is, there’s a 1:1 statistical probability that the Earth can support life. Now think; if Evolution is true, there’s a 1:100000000000000000000000000000000000 chance that the earth could even support life, let alone create it.

      (Don’t take my statistics as precise; look up the odds yourself. They may be even higher than the number I posted)

      • RobMcCune

        Right, because the earth is the center of the universe. No other planets or suns exist anywhere else.

        • Bill

          Your point is -?

          No, the earth is not the center of the universe. Copernicus proved that quite some time ago :P

          But a LIFE-SUPPORTING PLANET. Look up the odds. It’s location in the universe is as irrelevant as your point.

          • RobMcCune

            Point is even if something is a long shot, if there is a large enough sample it will probably happen. Improbability isn’t a good argument against evolution, no matter how exaggerated your numbers are.

            • Bill

              This isn’t related to probability, but remind me, what slowed down the Big Bang to make it even theoretically possible for the gases to begin gathering to form stars and planets? And what kept them from falling together in favor of individual bodies? And what slowed it down even further to the point where smaller objects could be trapped in the orbit of larger objects?

              • Kingasaurus

                What would be funny is if you actually wanted answers to those questions instead of using them as a rhetorical device. But that’s SOP for creationists.

                Assume we don’t have all the details sorted out yet — so it must be invisible supernatural pixies that did it. Right?

              • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                I’m not going to spend an hour to refresh my understanding to make sure I get intimate details correct for a disingenuous question, but none of that is a mystery. Anyone who really cares can spend a few minutes on a search engine. This one probably covers it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_MFhAoUUmQ

          • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

            Actually it was Galileo observing that Jupiter had moons who proved that not everything in the universe revolves directly around the earth.

            Interesting that you seem to have faith in that idea, but don’t have faith in the molecular genetics that shows that humans are not specially created beings, but in fact are descended from a common ancestor along with all other life on this planet.

            But hey, maybe God made that first life. There’s still a gap for him to live in, for now.

            • Bill

              Molecular genetics shows only that creatures are all made of similar building blocks. You cannot infer from this that one creature is descended from another. Betelgeuse (the star) is a big star, our sun is a small star; they both operate by fusion, so obviously Betelgeuse evolved from Sun-like stars? Or let me take it further. If we looked at a yellow ball and looked at the sun we could easily see that they are both round and yellow (at least for some part of the day). Does that mean my yellow ball has its own planetary system? Of course not. The truth is that the more we get into genes the more we see each system has its own specific purpose and function. Superficially we could say they’re the same but there are a ton of differences when you get down to their functions.

              • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                Well first of all, stars don’t have baby stars, and balls don’t have baby balls. Simply having features in common doesn’t mean they are descended from a common ancestor, especially since they’re not descended.

                It’s not that we all have DNA. It’s not even that we all have the same protein encoding sections. That would be sort of kind of like your star analogy where all stars fuse H into He.

                Do you believe that DNA testing can identify siblings? Because it’s the same principle at work. Sibling are considered “0th” cousins- they have common parents. First cousins have common grand parents. Second cousins have common great grand parents.

                Every YEC I’ve ever heard of at least accepts ‘micro’ evolution. We can DNA mapping on modern dog breeds and map out the tree of descent of the dog ‘kind’ (to use your language) just like you can all mammals, or all vertebrates, or all fauna, or all life. There’s really no particular reason to arbitrarily stop and say “it was showing relationships, but now it’s not”.

              • Gus Snarp

                Um, I’m not entirely up on my stellar astronomy, but Betelgeuse is a red giant, it is entirely possible that it DID evolve from a sun like star. Not in the sense of biological evolution, but in place, just as our sun will one day become a red giant. Terrible example.

                Also, you do not understand molecular genetics at all.

          • baal

            oh, goody. “fine tuning”

            You really bought the whole line didn’t you?

      • Sven2547

        A hilarious misunderstanding of how statistics works.

        Let’s say I toss a coin 20 times. Let’s say the results are HHTTTHTHTTHTTTHTHHHT (where ‘H’ is “heads” and ‘T’ is “tails”).
        The odds of me flipping that exact sequence is 1 in 2^20, or 1 in 1,048,576.

        Now what if I turn around and tell you I’ve been a magician all along, who has the power to make coins land however I choose. After all, look at the evidence: the odds that I would flip that sequence by random chance is an astronomical one in a million! Clearly I must be a magician!

        That is the same hilariously-flawed argument you are making here. You’re looking at the probability completely backwards.

      • decathelite

        God doesn’t exist (except in people’s imaginations), which means there’s a 0:1 probability.

  • Baby_Raptor

    “Were you there?” can be turned around on them with devastating results. Next time they start screeching about how the bible is a timeless, inerrant book, ask them if they know that from experience. Or when one of these misguided brats asks you if you were there, just say “Yeah, I was. How are you going to prove me wrong? I don’t remember YOU being there.”

    It can be applied to a ton of situations, and it doesn’t at all work in their favour.

    • Kingasaurus

      This won’t work, though.

      The problem is that they know deep down that science has a kind of respectability that faith just doesn’t. It’s the reason the creationists are always trying to look like scientists in a cargo-cult kind of way.

      So the best way for them to tear down science is to say that nobody was “there” to know anything about anything, and therefore everyone is on an equal footing, where everybody is relying on faith of some sort. So if we all have faith-based beliefs, they think their Holy Spirit verification business gives them a leg up, and that’s all they think they need.

      They don’t claim to be personal eyewitnesses of the Bible. They just say they spiritually “know” something that scientists can’t because God made them aware of it.

      It’s a way of trying to win by tearing down your opponent until they’re sloshing around in the same mud that you’re covered in.

      • Baby_Raptor

        You’re thinking way deeper about it than the people we’d be using the remark against, and that’s why it works. If they were critical thinkers, we wouldn’t be having the conversation at all.

        The entire point of making the statement is to start them thinking. If they later see that the foundation of the sarcasm was faulty, so what? Either way, we made them think.

        • Kingasaurus

          I still think you’re too optimistic.

          I agree they’re not critical thinkers, because their attitude is “God” trumps anything human scientists might say. The fact that nobody is an eyewitness to anything (including them) just helps them avoid giving their opponents the time of day.

          They don’t see it as a weakness on their end, because they have the Holy Spirit in their back pocket. It’s precisely because of that attitude that we won’t (mostly) get through to them in this way.

          It’s already a double standard they’ve bought into in their minds: Christians don’t need to be direct eyewitnesses for them to take their own claims as truth, but secular scientists not being direct eyewitnesses is a strike against them.

          “You guys weren’t there either” just doesn’t bother them.

          • Bill

            Please don’t tell me I’m not thinking critically. I am basing my CAREER on science. And what I think about the origin of the universe does NOT affect my ability to use scientific law, or even make scientific discoveries. (Isaac Newton was a Christian, Steven Hawking is not. Both have made significant contributions to science.) You DON’T need to be an eyewitness to accept something as true, be it Creation or Evolution. But you do need faith. I guess we’ll find out who was right in the end. . .

            • Kingasaurus

              Says Bill, the guy who doesn’t agree with radiometric dating, sees no evidence for evolution or an old Earth anywhere, and, -you guessed it! – just COINCIDENTALLY happens to be a Biblical inerrantist, fundamentalist Christian! What are the chances? Shocker!

              You’re really thinking like a scientist, Bill. Keep it up.

              • Bill

                Thanks. I will. ;-)

                Isaac Newton, Galileo, Kepler, Descartes,Pascal, Boyle, Mendel, Pasteur, and Boyd all agree with me about the origins of the earth. Sounds like I’m on the right track.

                • Kingasaurus

                  LOL

                  The great thing about science, Bill, is that new discoveries supersede old ideas. If you actually thought like a real scientist, you’d know that. Meaning, what we know about the origins of the earth is ahead of what anyone in the 19th century thought or knew. That’s how it works.

                  Trying to impress me with names doesn’t matter. Newton was also an alchemist who was obsessed with Bible prophecy. Didn’t affect his Laws of Motion or his calculus, but he was simply WRONG about that other stuff. It’s no crime – he lived in the 17th Century.

                  By the way, what percentage of today’s practicing scientists (not medical doctors) agree with you, Bill?

                  Thought so.

                  I can do the head-counting game too.

                • Bill

                  Well, we’ve figured out how to convert one element into another, right? Sounds like Newton was ahead of his time.

                • Kingasaurus

                  Yeah, OK.

                  LOL

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  And if Newton had not been so arrogant as to think that if he couldn’t figure something out, then it must be God, then perhaps it wouldn’t have taken 150 year for Laplace to come along and show how planets stay in their orbits without the help of God.

                  Most of your examples predate Darwin, let alone Hoyle. There is a strong inverse correlation between education and religiosity. When you get to the top levels of science today, very few are theists, and an extremely small number hold out as Young Earth Creationists.

                  That appeal to authority is extremely lame.

                • Bill

                  It wasn’t arrogance. He just accepted it as something that he didn’t understand. . . and something that would be understood in the future. And up until very, very recently in history, there was a direct correlation between education and religion. . .

                  The top levels of science today have found a theory that makes them the chief “answer-givers” in the universe. If Darwin’s theory didn’t leave out God, they would have found another one that did.

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  The six primary Planets are revolv’d about the Sun, in circles concentric with the Sun, and with motions directed towards the same parts, and almost in the same plane. . . . But it is not to be conceived that mere mechanical causes could give birth to so many regular motions. . . . This most beautiful System of the Sun,

                  Planets, and Comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.

                  Doesn’t sound like something he thinks anybody else is going to explain.

                  http://www.haydenplanetarium.org/tyson/read/2005/11/01/the-perimeter-of-ignorance

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

                  It is irrelevant what someone believed. What matters is the objective evidence.

                • TheBlackCat13

                  @ Bill: Certainly the people who lived before the 1800′s believed the Earth to be young, just like they almost certainly believed in the 4 humors since they lived before the invention of modern medicine.

                  Can you provide any evidence that any of the people on your list from after 1800 believed the world to be young? Neither Pasteur nor Mendel appears to have believed that, Pasteur being largely unconcerned with Christian doctrine and Mendel by a Catholic monk.

                  In fact, at the time they lived, the idea that the Earth was young was only believed by extremely small, fringe groups of Christians like 7th-day adventists. Even fundamentalists didn’t believe it. It wasn’t until the first half of the 20th century that fundamentalist Christians started going back to the young Earth idea they abandoned long before.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Also, I was never good at math. I took Algebra 1 three times and Geometry twice. I made a math teacher cry in summer school (and subsequently got kicked out) because I kept telling her that “letters don’t make numbers, they make words,” and that was why I didn’t understand the math. And no, I wasn’t trolling her.

    So Hemant, you should probably be glad you never had me as a student.

    • JohnnieCanuck

      Have you come across hexadecimal numbering yet?

      For example, when you add 3F + 0D, you get 4C. It’s useful when you need to work with binary numbers, such as in computers.

      • Baby_Raptor

        I looked at your problem and just…No. The most I could do if you handed me that would be give you back 3FD (3+0=3, and attach the FD). I have no clue in hell how you got 4C out of that.

        • Baby_Raptor

          30 minutes later: So my fiance just spent the last half an hour trying to explain to me how to solve these, and I *think* I get it?

          I have a headache.

          • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

            When you understand what ’10′ actually means, then a lot of the rules for math make a lot more sense (in particular long division, and multiplication, and ‘carrying’ and ‘borrowing’). You’re not just learning what to do, but why you do it that way.

        • JohnnieCanuck

          When you count in a decimal system, you need symbols from 0 to 9. For hexadecimal (16), you will be counting from 0 to 15. We don’t want to use two digits to represent a number, so some other character needs to be substituted for each new one. Could have been triangles and squares, etc. but the letters A through F were chosen. They have the advantage that everyone knows their proper order. You just have to convince yourself they are numbers no more and no less.

          0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 are replaced with
          0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F

          The next number after F is 10 in hex. which in decimal is 15 +1 or 16.

          A+A=14 is the same as 10+10=20

          Just think. If we had 8 fingers on each hand, we would very likely now be using base 16 to count with, instead.

          ps Just read your reply. Check your new understanding against this effort here and see if the headache gets better or worse.

          pps Think of it as exercising your brain to stave off Alzheimer’s.

        • TheBlackCat13

          Think about it this way: you have 10 digits, 0-9. When you get past 9, what do you do? You are out of digits. So you stick a counter before it, saying, essentially, “I have gotten past 9 once”, and then roll back to zero and continue counting.

          So 10 is really “I have gotten past 9 once”. 20 is “I have gotten past 9 twice” So 10 is really 1x(9+1), 20 is really 2x(9+1).

          13 is “I have gotten past 9 once and then went 3 more”, or 1x(9+1)+3. 27 “I have gotten past 9 twice and gone 7 more”, or 2x(9+1)+7.

          So 10 isn’t really a number per say, it is just a way of saying “I have gone 1 past the largest digit in my numbering system”. 20 is “I have gone past the largest digit in my numbering system twice”.

          Now imagine we don’t have 10 digits, we have 8, 0-7 (this is called “octal”, and is used a lot in computers). In this case, we don’t have digits 8 and 9, we need stick a counter at the beginning after 7 and roll back to 0. So 10=8, or “I have gotten past 7″, or 1x(7+1). 27 is “I have gotten past 7 twice and gone 7 more”, or 2x(7+1)+7.

          You can go all the way to the extreme and do this with 2 digits, 0-1. in this case 10 is “I have gotten past 1 once”, or 1x(1+1). There would be no such thing as 20 since the digit “2″ does not exist in this numbering system.

          For hexadecimal numbers, we have 16 digits, 0-15. In this case, we don’t have extra digits, so they just used letters, A=9+1=10, B=9+2=11, C=9+3=12, D=9+4=13, E=9+5=14, F=9+6=15. F (15) is the largest digit

          So in this case 10 is “I have gone 1 past F (15)”, or 1x(1+F), which is 16 in the normal numbering system. 20 is “I have gone 1 past F twice”, or 2x(1+F).

          So for Johnnie’s example, 3F, we have “I have gone 1 past F three times, and gone F more”, 3x(1+F)+F. In our numbering this is 3x(1+15)+15 = 3x(16)+15 = 63.

    • Miss_Beara

      Me too. I was pretty good with Algebra II but Geometry… yikes. Calculus and Trig were for the honors math students so I never took those. Geometry was just one of those things that I couldn’t understand at all no matter how hard I tried.

      • Artor

        I finally got a good math teacher when I got into algebra, but I suffered from years of hating & fearing math. But I’m pretty good at spatial thinking, so geometry wasn’t that hard. Calc & trig kicked my ass though, and I had to drop them.

  • Patrick

    “Don’t know much about history
    Don’t know much biology
    Don’t know much about a science book
    Don’t know much about the french I took

    But I do know that I lie to you
    And I know that if you lie to me too
    What a wonderful world this would be”

  • Kingasaurus

    “We find our answers in Genesis.”

    That picture should make anyone sad/angry. My response, of course, would be:

    “That’s swell, kids. Let me know when you’re interested in getting the CORRECT answers.”

    I’d like to know how many of the kids in that picture are eventually going to end up future apostates and “backsliders.” I’ll wager that some of those kids are going to grow up to be adults who are angry that the people they trusted systematically lied to them.

  • David

    Would the following response to “Were you there” be correct “No, but my DNA was”?

  • DougI

    When you have someone as stupid as Ken Ham you’re bound to produce really stupid children, or as Ham calls them, good Christians.

    • Camorris

      I don’t consider Ken stupid! I see him as a smart but arrogant charlatan that knows his market. After-all, this is how Joseph Smith and Ron Hubbard went about extracting fame, fortune, (and sex) from their willing followers.

  • Miss_Beara

    Those poor children. Such bright minds being sullied by nonsense and they do not know any better. Get them while they’re young!

    So sad.

    • Bill

      Such bright minds made brighter by the belief that God has a purpose for their lives. That belief has been the basis of work for many great men of science.

      • RobMcCune

        Have any proof belief in god makes people brighter?

        • Bill

          Yes, actually. It’s called Europe’s rapid scientific advancement throughout periods when Christianity was the primary religion (Post-Reformation, English Renaissance, etc.). They advanced MUCH faster than the regions around them, and it wasn’t because of any genetic advantages.

          • Vanadise

            Correlation is not causation. How do you explain the European dark ages, when religion was at its peak and scientific advancement as at a standstill? How do you explain non-Christian regions that have gone through similar phases of rapid advancement?

            Even in modern times, predominantly non-Christians societies such as those found in Russia, China, and Japan are perfectly capable of keeping up with and sometimes surpassing the Christian world.

          • Mario Strada

            Since Christianity was also the leading religion in the period before that one, what happened then? Why was Islam that preserved the classical knowledge while the Christian west did their best to turn ancient manuscripts into prayer books?

  • http://www.pinkraygun.com/ Lisa

    “Hey kids, were you there when Jesus died? No? I win.”

    LOLFOREVER.

  • Aslinn

    This makes me truly sad…I seriously weep for the future of these children.

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    Ken wouldn’t understand this, but a really great question in conjunction with “how do you know” is “how can you know if you’re wrong”

    Information that isn’t falsifiable is useless.

  • LesterBallard

    My response to “were you there” would be to slap the shit out of Ham. When I hear kids parrot it, I want to beat him to a bloody pulp.

  • PhysicsPhDStu

    Whenever I see this, I think of PZ’s takedown : http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/06/23/dear-emma-b/ .

  • Robster

    How does this Ham bloke sleep comfortably? He must be so deluded, deluded to the point that really, really thinks that he’s being honest in his dealing with gullible kids. He needs gullible potential victims as those with a minute’s life experience or an IQ of 22+ would just know it’s absurd nonsense, and that’s before they read up on it. Perhaps he goes to bed with Mrs. Ham each night, knowing that he’s set another bunch of kids on a life of deluded guilt and evil mind numbing fantasy. Please don’t try sending him back to Australia though, we’ve got enough of these rotters.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lukas.kelnhofer Lukas Kelnhofer

    When i read that he teaches them, that dating fossils at over 4500 years is “fiction” i got sick and nearly threw up out of anger. It is sad, that such people are allowed to exert their influence over children, especially in schools.

    • Bill

      Well, have YOU researched carbon dating?

      • TheBlackCat13

        Yes, as well as the dozens of other dating techniques. Why are creationists so hung up on carbon dating when there are so many others methods that are better and used more often? I think I answered my own question.

        • Bill

          I wasn’t asking you. . . but perhaps I misspoke when I said carbon dating. I was just asking a simple question. Most people “throw up” if someone contradicts evolution without ever taking a look at the facts for themselves.

          • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

            Most people “throw up” if someone contradicts evolution without ever taking a look at the facts for themselves.

            Exactly!

            Most people don’t actually understand evolution. Even those who ‘believe’ it. Evolution is now so poorly taught in American schools (if taught at all) that we have new generations parroting Ken Ham saying things like “Evolution has been proven to be a hoax” and “Where you there?”. And they buy it because they’ve never been properly introduced to evolution. They’ve got some weird idea that evolution means Apes giving birth to “missing links” which give birth to modern humans. That’s what’s wrong with Ham, and why articles like this exist.

            Ken claims Hemant wants to drag kids to hell (which Hemant knows doesn’t exist). Ken wants to drag kids into ignorance and make sure they don’t understand anything about evolution, or geology, or cosmology, or astronomy, or paleontology, or archaeology. All because Ken is fixated on the literal truth of the bible.

  • houndies

    “were you there?” what kind of question is that? he wasn’t there either, so what does that prove?

  • Steven Ashley

    I think you have made a bit of a mistake here when you assume that Hamm is a bad teacher. His aim is not to teach. The short phrases he indoctrinates those kids with are meantas thought stopping techniques. Their purpose is to prevent the children from examining their beliefs and the evidence for evolution.

    • Camorris

      But what is the ultimate goal of his indoctrinations? Is he trying to win souls for Christ? If so, what’s in it for him personally – a higher position in Heaven? Or is it merely to insure his livelihood on earth by keeping the money flowing in (a la Pat Robertson)?

      • Bill

        What’s in it for Ham is the knowledge that he served God well. He feels it’s the least he can do for the God who gave His Son for him.

        Also, what are you doing when you refuse to teach creationism as an alternative worldview? Indoctrination? I think maybe. :P

        • TheBlackCat13

          Following the law, maybe?

          • Bill

            The law that promotes indoctrination, maybe?

            • dorcheat

              No indoctrination whatsoever, Billy.

            • ToTripoli

              The law that prevents interference between government institutions & religions, Bill. Take off the tinfoil hat.

              As Mario said above (and you ignored), all religious creation stories are equally valid.
              Your claim seems to be “there’s no evidence because MAGIC,” yet we have no empirical evidence of magic existing. There is ZERO testable, empirical, scientific evidence for Creationism. It is not science; it is a belief based on hope (and one not even Christians can agree on).

              If I, an actual theist, can grasp that concept, why can’t you? Is it an inability to comprehend, or an unwillingness to do so?

        • Mario Strada

          I’ll make you a deal: I’ll sup[port teaching the Christian creation story in public schools as long as we get to teach every single creation story alongside with it. And I mean all of them. Not one should be denied. Would that work? No? Just yours? Why?
          I think teaching them all and teaching the scientific view would be a wonderful way to keep your in perspective. In fact, it would be the only way to assure the constitutionality of teaching a religious worldview in schools.

          It would also take a smart student one single class to figure out that the only way to go about it is through science and evidence. It would also be obvious to students that your version of creation is just as nonsensical as any other non-evidence based story.

          So sure, let’s do that.

  • Joules

    I’ve caught a lot of Christian catch phrases in my daily life as a Texas atheist. The good thing about these phrases is that they’re easily defeated by logic:

    “Were you there?”

    “No, were you?”

    “God was.”

    “He’s more than welcome to join the corporeal beings only conversation.”

    That normally ends with me defining “corporeal”.

    “It’s impossible to know everything so you can’t know God doesn’t exist.”
    “…It’s impossible to know everything so you can’t know that god does exist.”

    “Genesis said-”
    “Genesis also said….”
    Because the bible can’t help but contradict itself.

    • Bill

      Name an instance!?

      • Kingasaurus

        No contradictions in the Bible, right Bill? LOL

        Only when the fundies try to massage them away as “apparent contradictions.”

        A comment like that clearly throws up the red flag of crazy.

        • Bill

          Still waiting for an example.

          • Kingasaurus

            News for you, Bill – just because fundies have unrealistic “harmonizations” that they use to convince themselves of an errorless Bible, doesn’t mean sane people find those “harmonizations” plausible or realistic. They’re not.

            Ask yourself why there’s an “ENCYCLOPEDIA of Bible Difficulties.” There’s enough problems to fill an encyclopedia, including your lame rationalizations about why they aren’t “really” mistakes.

            The Jehovah’s Witnesses convinced themselves that Christ invisibly returned to earth in 1914, and in a similar way, you and other fundamentalists have convinced yourselves of an errorless Bible. The rest of us just point and laugh. Brainwashed people find very creative ways to stay brainwashed.

            Keep practicing that, uh, “science”, Bill.

            • Bill

              Due to your apparent inability to provide a decent counterexample, I most assuredly will.

              • Kingasaurus

                Lemme guess:

                Judas hanged himself, then …wait for it….when he was decomposing, the rope broke and the body fell and THEN his guts spilled out, right?

                Keep in that comfortable bubble, chum.

          • TheBlackCat13

            What were Jesus’s last words?

          • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson
      • ToTripoli

        The order of creation listed in Genesis 1 vs. Genesis 2.
        The fate of the Amalekites (being utterly wiped out, not being utterly wiped out, actually being utterly wiped out later, being utterly wiped out AGAIN).
        Salvation through faith vs. works (aka Paul vs. Jesus).
        Judas’ death.
        Jesus’ last words.
        The contents of the Ark of the Covenant.
        The identity of Bashemath’s father.
        The identities of Benjamin’s sons.
        The person(s) who buried Jesus.

        I’m certain you won’t respond, of course… you’ve become quite adept at evading inconvenient questions & answers to your Pharisee-like questions.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nekko.erickson Nekko Mason Erickson

    Atheists aren’t mad because we don’t care, though it has been used as a poor foundation for argument, that since we have no God, we are just animals in this hopeless, purposeless, meaningless existence. No, the problem is that atheists, agnostics, agnostic atheists, humanists…we DO care. We see how children are being taught to NOT think, they are taught to ostracize people of differing thoughts, they are indoctrinated with the belief that if you don’t know it, then it is GOD and therefore beyond question, beyond knowing, that you should give up, pack your bags, and call it a day. We see these things and we ourselves ask ‘Why?’, but we already know that answer; people are coerced, psychologically tortured as children to believe this theological pap under the threat of damnation and hellfire, with the guise of caring for our everlasting soul enshrouding their intentions. No, we see this, and we get angry, because we do NOT want to see children blinded by faith, by religion, for them to look for real answers, for them to UNDERSTAND those answers, and when we hear that religion, of any shape or form, is telling them otherwise, we know they are effectively destroying that child’s future, their ability to reason, to debate, to question, and to grow.

    Religion is a disease.

    • Bill

      The idea behind Christianity is that once you’re a Christian, you CAN’T be threatened by hellfire. . . and true Christians teach their kids to seek out answers for themselves. To use reason. To examine the world in the same way you do, using the same methods you do, just from a different premise – a premise that actually offers them far more hope than you would like to think. Solid Christian scientists believe that if you don’t understand it, then it’s a bit of God’s world that you don’t understand yet. And then you seek to understand it.

      If religion is a disease, atheism is, too. For atheism, by definition, is a religion.

      • TheBlackCat13

        Just like “not collecting stamps” is a hobby.

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

    i like to respond with “why is your holy book right and all the others are wrong” argument. there are billions of people who aren’t xtians and they are all convinced their religion is the right one. the “proof” of each is the same- none.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/EYZCDG3OAPGD3PDG7XD7SM7OAM ElizabethS

    I’m pissed that the picture has Ham with all girls (at least they appear to be all girls). The number of women in science careers is pathetically low. Ham is starting these young women down the path of ‘don’t question critically’ and ‘science doesn’t have all the answers…its too hard to understand’

    Yeck!

  • http://www.facebook.com/rvdunham Rachel ‘Voss’ Dunham

    The name of your blog is “Friendly Atheist”, really? This poor writing and poor use of language just told me different. The HATE is obvious.

    • RobMcCune

      So you can easily discern someone’s emotional state despite the your claim they are a poor communicator?

      It’s a miracle???

    • Guest

      So you have the power to magically discern someones intent after proclaiming them a poor communicator?

      It’s a miracle???

  • http://twitter.com/joebennett93 Joseph Bennett

    “In other words, it’s Ham’s way of not teaching children anything, since asking “Were you there?” is really a way of ignoring the mountains of evidence in favor of evolution. ” Really??? I’ve never heard such evidence. At least not any that hasn’t been refuted by actual science.

    • TheBlackCat13

      So what sort of evidence would convince you that evolution is true?

      That is, evidence that is feasible to obtain and would actually support evolution (not a strawman version of evolution).

      • Roger Peritone

        Remember the statement of faith that AIG/CMI etc employees have to take: No evidence is allowed to take precidence over scripture. Though I doubt Joseph Bennett is an actual employee, I’ll wager that he has no problem with accepting those who DO take that oath as doing “actual science”. Too bad that “oath taking is not science”

    • RobMcCune

      The definition of actual science is not “science” done by pastors with an axe to grind against real scientists

  • Wayne

    Glittering Generalities (as well as ascribing moral obligation)
    Ad Hominem
    Strawman
    Rhetoric
    Begging the Question

  • bob

    The Obvious difference in several of the “wonderful” examples given by you and your followers here is simply this; Ken Ham is asking “Were you there” to make the point that no one was there. All the evidence is looked through very slanted ideas and opinions. Obviously there were people here during America’s founding. There were people (at least 500) in Israel that witnessed Jesus’ resurrected body. I will admit there is a faith element to believing what the Bible says, but there is also a faith element in believing the evolutionary origins that makes no logical sense whatsoever. Realize this- You don’t have to believe something for it to be true. I have a great life following Jesus my Lord and when I die I will be in Heaven, If you are right, it doesn’t matter I will be in the ground. If I am right I gain the glories of eternity, but you inherit the fruits of your unbelief- hell. I wish that on no one. God Bless!

    • TheBlackCat13

      the evidence is looked through very slanted ideas and opinions.

      Speak for yourself. Just because you look at the evidence through “very slanted ideas an opinions” doesn’t mean everyone else does.

      There were people (at least 500) in Israel that witnessed Jesus’ resurrected body

      So says third or worse-hand accounts written a generation or more after the events supposedly happened. Too bad none of those 500 bothered to write it down.

      but there is also a faith element in believing the evolutionary origins that makes no logical sense whatsoever.

      No, it only requires that you accept evidence. Just because you don’t understand evolution doesn’t make it wrong.

    • dorcheat

      Yawn, yet another argument from from Pascal’s wager.

  • Wayne

    I would like to point out that most people commenting on this blog are committing the fallacy of “petitio principii.” That is, they are assuming the initial point. In this case, “what Ken Ham teaches is factually wrong.” is begging the question, as that is the exact sort of thing that is being challenged.

    • RobMcCune

      A discussion about Ken Ham being an evolution denialist does not need to begin by proving evolution. Neither are all blog comments logical arguments that seek to methodically prove the conclusion follows from the premises.

    • Roger Peritone

      Do you want some examples of Ken Ham being wrong then? Here: http://noanswersingenesis.org.au/aig_and_home_schooling.htm

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      Science has spent 150 years testing evolution and finding it correct. Saying what Ken Ham teaches is factually wrong is no more begging the question than to say that someone teaching that the earth is a flat disk is wrong.

  • ADDledBonjwa

    Its not so much where you literally there as it is have you considerd what was there. Dating methods are only correctly measured by knowing the starting conditions to the end. Thousands or millions of years can not be measured if events are not acounted for. Type of Ozone vs. solar flares. Acidic rain. I meen I seen areas of a dig dated 13,267 years older then organic material just a few feet below and if not for that would have never considerd some very key factors that took place.

    • RobMcCune

      Actually scientists have been working on improving the calibration of radiometric dating since it’s inception. All measurements have a margin of error which is included in the results. Furthermore many test used on fossil older than 60,000 years aren’t affected by solar activity.

      The only reason you can raise these “scientific” objections is because scientists figured this stuff out well before you, and used that improve their methods. Guess what, they still believe radiometric dating is a good tool.

    • TheBlackCat13

      “Dating methods are only correctly measured by knowing the starting conditions to the end.”

      Not true. Many dating methods are independent of the starting conditions, while others have built-in checks that will return errors if the conditions have changed.

      Further, if the dating methods were substantially wrong, they would not line up. But we have a great deal of agreement between dating methods if we are careful to make sure proper samples are used (of course creationists love to use improper samples).

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

      We know the age of the universe because we can measure how far light has traveled, and all available data shows that the speed of light in a vacuum is constant.

      Your Argument Is Invalid.

  • Proud creationist

    Don’t insult my own intelligence by telling me that evolution makes any sense…watching scientists explain the past while trying to leave God out still confirms the same thing the Bible mentioned happened. All I see an atheist as is “a rebel without a cause”. If something has anything to do with God…or could even suggest it…you rebel even if it could make any sense….
    I am a proud mother who has had a child sit under ken ham’s teaching (while i sat right next to her). I have that right as a parent…you do what you will with yours and I will do what I think is best for mine. My child attends a public school and will be taught about evolution whether I want her to or not. What ever other things that are learned, that is up to me and my husband as her parents to make that decision. Why isn’t the public school not looked at as brain washing my child since that is the ONLY teaching and alternative way of thinking according to them..(obviously). Their is no more scientific evidence behind evolution than you claim to not be behind creationism. So you then you are talking about just one theory against another….
    Why don’t you stop being brainwashed in Darwinism. And start thinking for yourself…

    • RobMcCune

      You ask people not to insult your intelligence right before claiming you can’t grasp a concept?

      • Bill

        Conceptual understanding does not define intelligence. There are numerous other factors.
        “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein

      • Proud creationist

        oh, I can grasp it all right….as just another sad, pitful theory grasping at straws just to have another explanation of how we came to be while trying to leave God out of it….

    • TheBlackCat13

      Let’s try this:

      Empirically-verified fact 1: more organisms are born than will survive
      Empirically-verified fact 2: different organisms within a population have different traits
      Empirically-verified fact 3: some versions of a traits make organisms more likely to survive to reproduce than other versions

      Conclusion: traits that make an organism more likely to survive will become more common

      That is evolution by natural selection. Please tell me which part you disagree with.

    • Andrew L

      M4C, would you agree if what Ken Ham teaches is not true then teaching it to a child is not wise? Evolution is the widely held and vast consensus of science.

  • H1p0cr8s

    I find it amusing that atheists supposedly care. “Oh, the poor children…”
    What does it matter? If you are truly atheists, then nothing matters. This is just a delusion of the brain because we are all just here a short while, and good, bad, or otherwise is subjective. Maybe indoctrinating children is good…

    • RobMcCune

      It’s quite odd you only care for children because god orders you to, that must be that christian love you speak of.

      • H1p0cr8s

        What do you know about me? Why not the issue I raised, if you’re an atheist? Or do you not have anything to say about it?

        • TheBlackCat13

          If you refuse to answer your own question why do you expect anyone else to answer it?

          • H1p0cr8s

            A question is put forth by one for consideration by others to allow them to express their thoughts on the matter. And that by the one who already has initially thought it through. That one may learn more from the answer given, but he himself does not provide the answer.

        • RobMcCune

          I know you claimed that there is no reason to care about anything without belief in god so I am asking you if believing in god is the only reason you care about anything. Just seeing if you practice what you preach, so to speak.

          As for your other question it will matter because those children will have to grow up in world full of technology, and the less scientific thinking they do, the less they’ll be able to understand it. Their indoctrination will have cost them opportunities and make them less capable of making informed decisions. At that fundamentalist christian indoctrination will matter to them whether they understand it or not.

          • H1p0cr8s

            You are mistaken, I did not mention god in my post. My stance was purely philosophical. And so, I will continue in that vane because this is an atheist web site. So I will ask again… why care about a child? All you said still illustrates it to be their problem, not yours.

            • RobMcCune

              All you said still illustrates it to be their problem, not yours.

              Why do you believe atheism necessitates I place my needs above theirs? If atheists have no reason to care about anything, because nothing matters, as you asserted above why do you think I would have cause to care about my own problems? Seems your “philosophical” questions are simply asking me to disprove your assertions and charicatures.

              As for the reason I care about the problems of others, it’s because it would be hypocritical of me not to value in them traits that I value in myself.

              • H1p0cr8s

                Why would you value one trait over the other? I see you as making a subjective choice to support your view, as opposed to a truly wide open uninfluenced (by history and current culture) determination. I truly believe that if an atheist was on this earth alone, he would naturally be selfish and seek to do anything to survive. Caring is something that one would have to admit is a spiritual property, not borne of a physical or intellectual realm.

            • RobMcCune

              One more thing why is it that you personally believe anything has value.

    • TheBlackCat13

      We have a sense of empathy. This is an important trait for social species.

      • H1p0cr8s

        Where is the empathy when other social species attack and eat each other?

        • TheBlackCat13

          Where is the empathy when humans attack and kill each other?

          • H1p0cr8s

            Exactly. So you would agree then that empathy is not a source of morality?

            • Roger Peritone

              Actually, it is: But empathy doesn’t act in a void, does it? For instance, where was the empathy when this happened: http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/04/30/wait-i-thought-they-believed-i/ When biblegod orders babies and their mothers killed, the empathy of xians goes right out the sodding window, doesn’t it?

              • H1p0cr8s

                Gotta love the censuring, as I see my original post was deleted by the thought control police. Please tell me how do you know that (link) happened?

                • Roger Peritone

                  What did your original post say? Where was it? And: Does the link in my reply above not work? It does for me.

                • H1p0cr8s

                  Sorry Roger, I was musing about my original post being deleted while responding to you. I don’t exactly recall what it said, but I’m sure I must not have been very nice in my muse, for it sure offended a few folks.

                  Your link works fine. My question is how do you know that what your link refers to is true? That people were actually killed as claimed by the author. Do you believe the writings of the Jews to be true and it’s supernatural implication of “a tyrannical monster”?

                • H1p0cr8s

                  Re-reading the thread, I see you asked me about caring about future generations, etc. My question is simply, “Why does it matter?” If you’re an atheist, good and evil, right or wrong is only in your mind and carries no authority over anyone else as they may hold a different view. Who is to say that destruction of a sick person isn’t caring? Or why exactly is it “good” to care for an environment for the future? I won’t be around…That’s subjective. A slippery slope for sure… Who gets to define morality?

                • Roger Peritone

                  What I believe in this case is irrelevant: What is relevant is that apologist William Lane Craig does believe that story, and he goes and excuses those alleged killings, even expressing sympathy for those who did the killing!

                  Yet he, and theists like him pretend to be “pro-life”? To top it off, Craig is the guy who claims that the concept of “objective morality” is evidence of his god.

                  Yet he and those like him, when they have no problem with god killing babies, while claiming that it’s evil when humans do it, just show that their morality is “subjective” (ie. depends on who does the action)!

                • H1p0cr8s

                  If I’m understanding you correctly, you object to Craig believing that it’s not ok for him to kill another, but it’s ok for his god to. Why wouldn’t a god who made something do as he pleases? Why wouldn’t he have the right to set the rules for his creation, but exempt himself? I’m not seeing a conflict here, if you consider the position of the man in relation to his god. Now if a man were to set the rules for others to follow, but he himself didn’t… oh, wait, we already have that. Never mind…

                • TheBlackCat13

                  @ H1p0cr8s: So in other words, if we created self-aware robots with feelings and emotions, it would be perfectly alright to torture them, destroy them, and otherwise make them suffer however we please because they are our creation? You would have absolutely no problem watching someone slowly torture a feeling robot as it cried out for mercy?

                • Roger Peritone

                  Uh huh. Subjective morality it is then. What you describe with “Why wouldn’t a god who made something do as he pleases? Why wouldn’t he
                  have the right to set the rules for his creation, but exempt himself?” is an AMORAL being, not a “moral” being. A moral being has a code of conduct and follows it. You just admitted that your god doesn’t.

                  What you don’t get, well one of the things you don’t get, is that Craig is pretending that biblegod is the source of this so-called “objective morality”. How can that be when he can do whatever he wants?

                  The other thing that you don’t get is: How can xians say that god is “good” or “just” or whatever if he doesn’t have to follow the rules that he passes onto us which determine our level of “just” or “goodness”?

                • Roger Peritone

                  For a bunch of replies to your response, you can see here:

                  http://www.fstdt.com/QuoteComment.aspx?QID=93525

                  They summarize what I have to think about your reply.

                • ToTripoli

                  It’s alright for God to kill someone because He created them.
                  Congratulations, you just argued for abortion & child murder. After all, the parents created their child/embryo.

                  Also, killing people simply for the sake of doing so is, by ANY definition, “evil.” You worship evil, H1p0cr8s. Also, you bear false witness with your last statements.
                  But I’m sure that’s just one rule set by your creator that you pretend “doesn’t count.” Right up there with “judge not,” “love thy neighbour as thyself,” “pray not in public like the hypocrites,” and “sell all your possessions & give the money to the poor.”
                  “Whatsoever you do to the least of men, you do also unto me” is just nonsense from a long-haired liberal hippie Jew to your type, right?

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  Also have to consider your ‘right’ vs. what is ethical. A lot of times people will say you have the right to say or do something, but it doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do.

                  If you set out a bird feeder and birds come to depend on it, is it ethical to then take it away?

                  Would it be ethical to create a portrait of Jesus that many people love an appreciate, and then burn it in front of them laughing all the while?

                  I think the act of creating something comes with a moral obligation to care for it, especially if it is a sentient being.

                  But then, I’m not God. And my morals are only ‘subjective’.

                • Vesus

                  So you’re ok with abortion? I mean, the creator should be allowed to destroy their creation if they feel it is necessary, right?

                • Roger Peritone

                  Not sure what you’re asking here: The link works for me, you can go from it to Lane’s website where he says that.

        • TheBlackCat13

          Empathy is a source of morality, but it can be pushed out of the way, especially when one group attacks a group they see as “different”. Religion is a common way to paint people as different. Again, this all makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint, since these sorts of emotions evolved to benefit the society you live in, not another society that might be competing with your own. But if morals come from God, why are they so easily cast aside when it comes to conflicts with other societies?

    • Roger Peritone

      Do you have any idea what you’re saying when you say things like “if you’re an atheist, then nothing matters”? It means that you’ve rejected any reason (caring for future generations, empathy, even enlightened self-interest et al) that motivate atheists to do well, and are saying that you only “care” because you believe that god is watching over your shoulder. That’s the same attitude of a sociopath who knows that he’s being watched!

  • Pam

    To the author: Whether or not you like Ham’s cute sayings, they are simply a way to help people remember what he is teaching. If you sit through an entire seminar, you will hear how science actually supports the Bible’s account of creation, the flood, etc. So whether you agree or not, don’t say that he just uses cute sayings to “brainwash” children. That’s ridiculous. He supports his “sayings” with much evidence. As for your assertion that these kids will grow up and realize his teachings are false, how do you explain the millions of Christian ADULTS around the world who believe that the Bible is true? You act as if he snatched these kids away from their parents to teach them what you call lies. Guess what? The parents either consented to their kids being there or were actually there themselves. For the record, my entire family was at the event pictured above. (Though my kids aren’t in the photo.) I believe the Bible, and I believe that Ken Ham’s teachings are doctrinally sound. It doesn’t matter if you do or not. You might just want to ask yourself why you feel the need to criticize people who don’t agree with you.

    • TheBlackCat13

      You might just want to ask yourself why you feel the need to criticize people who don’t agree with you.

      Because we value science, truth, and evidence.

      We live in a scientific society. The computer you used to type your message is a product of science. The medicines you take, the clothes you wear, the food you eat, the vehicles you ride in, the water coming out of your tap, all are products of science. Science is only becoming more and more important to our species. So many of us here value science.

      Ken Ham, on the other hand, is telling children falsehoods. Not only falsehood about the world around us, but falsehood about how we come to know about the world around. He is not only making it so children understand less about what science has taught us, but making it so children don’t understand what science even is, and in doing so makes them reject it.

      I can’t speak for others, but I find this very troubling. Science is critical to our success as a species, and the more Ken Ham continues to spread hatred and a lack of understanding of science, the more it stunts our ability to advance.

      • It’sjustme

        Where do you think science came from? Or the brains it takes to create the medicines, vehicles, clothes, etc? I think that it takes a lot more faith to believe that it all came from a “big bang” than from a intelligent supreme being. But hey, you believe your way, we’ll believe our way and we’ll see how it all ends.

        • TheBlackCat13

          The fact that you see everything as subservient to your faith does not mean I do. I am only concerned with the evidence. Where what I believe contradicts the evidence, I change what I believe. That is the exact opposite of faith.

    • It’sjustme

      thank you, pam.

    • Sven2547

      Hemant isn’t criticizing because Mr. Ham disagrees with him, Hemant criticizes because Mr. Ham is factually incorrect.

    • baal

      Ok Rain and Bill and that other guy. What you’re doing here is called trolling. You’re flooding the board with post after post of poorly reasoned arguments in an effort to shout out the regulars. It’s beyond rude and is evidence that you believe acquience (forcing others to give up) is a higher value than actual dicussion and truth.

      • RobMcCune

        Actually they waited till most of the regulars left, they prefer to win by having as little opposition as possible. The other advantage is it keeps all those evil facts and mind expanding concepts from dragging them to hell.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joshua.wilson.9862 Joshua Wilson

    So, is “Friendly Atheist” a comedic antonym?

    • TheBlackCat13

      At least we aren’t sending massive waves of tone trolls to spam other blogs.

      • RobMcCune

        I suspect many of them are the same person, as unoriginal and repetitive as creationists can be I can’t bring myself to believe there isn’t morphing going on here.

        • TheBlackCat13

          I am not as sure. It wouldn’t be so hard for someone to say “this blog said bad things about Ken, go post something there” and send a couple dozen people over. One word from PZ can get hundreds of people to post somewhere or thousands to throw an online poll.

          • RobMcCune

            You’re right though early on there were a couple of posts under different names that seemed a bit too similar.

      • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

        We’d be banned and our comments deleted pretty quickly. In fact, I bet if find the source of this latest troll deluge, and left any comment there, it would be removed. SOP.

    • RobMcCune

      That’s the most erudite articulation of that worn out sentiment I’ve read on this site.

      Bravo drive-by troll, Bravo Sir!

  • Erin

    Ha ha, when I was a child, I won a CD from a Christian radio station called “Millions of Death Things” and the saying from Ken Ham you have quoted here, was put to music.

    Honestly, it was the worst CD i have ever owned. I always thought it was a joke because no-one could take it seriously.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWhy32OiEvc

  • Paul

    Mr Mehta,
    I challenge you to “attempt” a debate with Mr. Ham and show him your “mountains of evidence” for evolution. The problem you have is there is NO evidence for macro evolution, and it would take more faith to believe in evolution than it would to believe God. There are no transitional fossils, and for evolution to have any credibility there must be millions of transitional fossils. So instead of your silly name calling that you cannot back up, try to bring your evidence and see what happens. Let me help you with what he means by “were you there”. He means that humans needed to exist to at least document. He did not mean that you (Mr. Mehta or the kids) had to be there themselves, he means that someone would have to exist to know for certain, to write down what they saw. So again you don’t win, people were living during Jesus’ time and documented what happen. Over 500 people saw Jesus after his resurrection. There is more proof for Christ’s resurrection than that George Washington was our first president. And I am sorry again to break it to you but Jesus quoted from Genesis, and since He died and rose again, He is the one we will believe.
    Thank you for your friendliness,
    Paul

    • TheBlackCat13

      Science is not settled by debates. Creationists know this. Debates are won by the one who can throw out the most factoids the fastest, whether they are true or not.

      Let me ask you a question: please define “transitional fossil” and “macroevolution”.

    • RobMcCune

      Actually there is plenty of evidence for evolution, from DNA, embryology, comparative anatomy and physiology, and of course the fossil record. To name a few important items off an exhaustive list. The concepts of “macroevolution” and “transitional fossils” are creationist attempts to ignore evidence for evolution by hand waiving away things that contradict their dogma.

      • Bill

        I replied to DNA, embryology, and comparative anatomy and physiology above, and I don’t want to type all that again. :) But the fossil record proves nothing. . . or we wouldn’t find trees whose lower halves were fossilized in one era and whose upper halves were fossilized in another.

        • RobMcCune

          Well the I’ll reply to your other misrepresentations and and falsehoods elsewhere if you can’t write them here.

          • Bill

            You say “other misrepresentations” as though there were any in the first place ;)

    • Mario Strada

      The time for debates is over. Creationism has been blasted time and time again in debates and even in courts of law.

      Since the only result of a creation/evolution debate is to give creation r a respectability it doesn’t deserve I suggest you instead refer to past debates and assume any new debate would follow the same imprint.

      Also, debates are not an instrument of truth seeking. If anything they confuse the waters since one of the favorite past times of creationist debaters is to pollute the discussion with several different claims at the same time, each needing several hours to properly discuss or disprove, it is is an exercise in futility that can only benefit the ignorant, creationist side.

      So, not. You should not get your debate. Ken Ham has participated in many debates before. Refer to those. You are done exploiting science reputation to elevate your nonsense to a “Competing theory”. It is not.

      There is a very simple reason why you haven’t earned the privilege to discuss science: You started from the answer and built your own evidence around it. Real science starts from the evidence and changes its conclusion based on it. Not the other way around.

      I would suggest to Hemant to ignore the debate invitation if one is forthcoming. Your side has demonstrated that it doesn’t deserve to sit at the same table with science.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sandie.mumich Sandie Mumich

    If “were you there?” ignores the so-called “mountains of evidence in favor of evolution”, what about the mountains of evidence in favor of creationism? Darwin himself said in his Origin of Species, “To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest sense.” Dr. Carl Sagan, a renowned atheist, estimated that the mathematical probability of the simplest forms of life emerging from non-living matter has the unbelievable odds of one change in ten to the two billionth power )1 followed by two billion zeros)! Which, I ask you, is harder to believe – those odds or that an intelligent God made the universe?

    • RobMcCune

      Ahh quote mining the last refuge of a creationist.

      “Reason tells me, that if numerous gradations from a simple and imperfect
      eye to one complex and perfect can be shown to exist, each grade being
      useful to its possessor, as is certainly the case; if further, the eye
      ever varies and the variations be inherited, as is likewise certainly the
      case; and if such variations should be useful to any animal under changing
      conditions of life, then the difficulty of believing that a perfect and
      complex eye could be formed by natural selection, though insuperable by
      our imagination, should not be considered as subversive of the theory.”

      –Charles Darwin

      • Bill

        If I start with the premise that gravity might be shown not to exist, and I conclude that I could be attracted to the earth by magnetism, then my reasoning is feasible, even though my conclusion and premise are both false.

        • RobMcCune

          And where is the false premise in what Darwin wrote?

          Also if people were attracted to the earth due to magnetism there would be other things anyone who knew about magnetism would expect to also be true but aren’t. Like for example magnets would either fly into the air, be pulled to the ground, or have torque exerted on them by the magnetic field that holds people to the ground.

          • Bill

            Wow. I wasn’t about to take the magnetism analogy that far. It truly would redefine magnetism quite a bit. Congrats for thinking of something separate from the point I was making-?

            The faulty premise was in the comment above.

            “. . .if numerous gradations from a simple and imperfect
            eye to one complex and perfect can be shown to exist, each grade being useful to its possessor, as is certainly the case. . .”

            It is certainly NOT the case. Gradations from a simple and imperfect eye can not be shown to “level-up” in complexity to form a better eye in any way that mutation has been observed to produce in science.

            • TheBlackCat13

              Actually, it is the case. In fact, all the steps from an individual light-sensitive cell to a complex camera eye are present in living organisms right now. We have individual light-sensitive cells, clusters of light-sensitive cells, light-sensitive spots, light-sensitive cups, light sensitive cups with a partial covering, open pinhole eyes, covered pinhole eyes, eyes with simple single-layer lenses, and eyes with complex multi-layer lenses. Each stage is better than the previous, each stage can easily form from the previous stage, and each stage is present in organisms living today.

              • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                Not only that but since cephalopods underwent a parallel line of eye evolution, ended up with a superior eye ‘design’ that doesn’t include a blind spot. Nice of God to give the octopuses the better eye. Can’t give everything to his pet species.

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_the_eye#Evolutionary_baggage

              • Tommykey69

                Not only that, but we also see reverse evolution wherein the descendants of creatures that had eyes but now live entirely in the dark have lost their eyes over time. If you don’t need a god to make an eye disappear, why do you need a god to make an eye appear?

                • TheBlackCat13

                  Creationist will just call this a case of decay after the fall. They have no problem with species getting worse (by their standards), only getting better (again, by their standards).

                  There is really no such thing as “reverse evolution”, either. Eyes are expensive, so losing them (or at least the expensive parts) is advantageous to organisms that don’t need them.

                  It is important to keep in mind that the eyes are most metabolically active in the dark, so an organism that has eyes but never uses them because it is too dark would waste a lot of energy.

            • Nohm

              Hi Bill.

              What’s your background on the evolution of the eye? If your answer is “none”, then where did you get the following:

              “Gradations from a simple and imperfect eye can not be shown to “level-up” in complexity to form a better eye in any way that mutation has been observed to produce in science.”

              What is that claim based on?

    • TheBlackCat13

      That quote is a classic example of creationist dishonesty. Why didn’t you quote the next several paragraphs where he went on to explain how evolution could account for the formation of the eye? You know the difference between “seems” and “is”, right?

      Carl Sagan was a strong supporter of evolution and a major opponent of creationism. Of course the first self-replicating molecules were much simpler than any form of life existing today, so that sort of calculation is completely and totally meaningless.

    • Nohm

      Hi Sandie.

      Is it possible that your current understanding of the theory of evolution is wrong? Is it possible that you misunderstand the claims of the theory of evolution?

      Additionally, is it possible that your understanding of probability calculations is incorrect? I ask this because you wrote: “Which, I ask you, is harder to believe – those odds or that an intelligent God made the universe?”

      I hope you agree that to compare the two “odds”, we’d have to know the probabilities of both. So, what is the probability “that an intelligent God made the universe”? Please show your work.

  • the_ignored

    Looks like Ham has taken an exception to what you wrote about him:

    https://www.facebook.com/aigkenham/posts/176622552488967

  • Paul

    Evolution has been completely refuted. My question to evolutionist is what else do you have. I am not the one copying and pasting that would be anyone espousing the theory of evolution.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      Then perhaps you have a better explanation as to how all life on this planet is related? For example, humans and chimps share a more recent common ancestor than chimps and gorillas? I’d love to hear it. The only thing I’ve ever heard besides evolution is either Genesis, which is obviously not true, or “it wasn’t evolution, so it must have been an intelligent agent” which doesn’t explain anything.

      • Bill

        Where’s the common ancestor!? And if God’s building blocks for an amoeba worked fine, why wouldn’t He just build on it to make more complex creatures? Seems pretty efficient to me.

        If you build five different Lego models – one is a person, one is a spaceship, one is a car, one is a dog, and one is a jungle diorama – they all have one thing in common – Legos. Does that mean that one Lego model evolved from another?

        Now I know that reproduction is much more complicated than Legos. But based on what we can observe today, it would appear that all creatures are made out of complex building blocks – and God just used a few more on the humans than He did on the chimps.

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          So you have three lego models. Two of those lego models have 15 distinctly common attributes. It’s not just that they’re made of legos, they have the same subsets of blocks put together in exactly the same way to make basic structures. As in you can tell whoever made the lego model did the exact same thing for those two models.

          The third lego model has 5 things in common with the other two, but those to have the 10 things in common that are unique to them.

          Or (different numbers, but bear with me)

          ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUV
          ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUX
          ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSZWY

          So which is the ‘special’ model, the one with 5 things in common with the other two, or one of the two with 10 things uniquely in common?

          And if my analogy is too convoluted, I’m talking about Endogenous Retro Viruses (ERVs). AiG addresses this issue, but not really. They pretend ERVs are just junk DNA, and ignore the common descent implications.

          Now, sure, maybe God made humans and chimps to be almost identical, and gorillas different from both of us. But it does put a chink in the Adam and Eve story to see that our ancestors contracted many of the same viruses that the ancestors of chimps did- but somehow gorillas did not.

          There’s overwhelming evidence for evolution. It has been proven as much as anything has been proven. Sure, maybe I’m just a brain in a jar and you don’t really exist, But if you dispense with silliness like that- yes we can know that all life evolved from a common ancestor, and that no, humans are not specially created.

          What you have is putting your fingers in your ears and chanting “faith, faith, faith”. When even Pat Robertson thinks you’re coo coo, it’s a good sign that maybe you should consider that it’s time to get with reality.

      • paul

        The burden of proof is not on my shoulders. “In the beginning Elohim created the heavens and the earth.” All evidence supports this, so you explain how He didn’t. I hope you have something better than evolution because it has been proven to be a hoax.

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          Coming from the guy who thinks you use carbon dating on rocks, I’m not surprised that you’ve taken every lie Ken Ham has spoon fed you. The only was evolution has proven to be a hoax is in bizaro land.

        • Nohm

          Hi Paul.

          Please explain how evolution “has been proven to be a hoax.”

          As I asked above, is it possible that you misunderstand the claims of the theory of evolution?

    • TheBlackCat13

      Tell me: have you actually looked at the evidence for evolution provided by the scientific community? Not the evidence Ken Ham has talked about, I mean have you actually looked at the evidence provided by pro-evolution websites or books? Have you looked at any of the countless refutations of creationism in general or Ken Ham in particular?

      • Paul

        Of course, I went to public school and public universities. I will give two examples, and we will agree to disagree. Carbon dating does not work, you would have to have a starting point “with someone there”. Trees have been found (vertical) running through different layers that are supposedly “millions” of years. Rocks have been carbon dated at different locations and differences in age ranging into millions of years were found. Carbon Dating is a guess not true science. The rock dated had just been formed by a volcano. Again, and I know that you know what a transitional fossil is; there are none. Darwin said for evolution to stand there would have to be millions. If Darwin were alive he would have to refute evolution.
        Thank you for your kind debate.
        Paul

        • Kingasaurus

          You’re just a caricature, Paul.

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          Nobody who knows anything about carbon dating would carbon date a rock. Of course if you try to carbon date a rock, you won’t get a meaningful answer. And you actually learned about carbon dating (as opposed to other methods of radiometric dating) in a public university? If that’s true, I’m honestly shocked.

        • David Starner

          There are bodies of water where every year, a new layer of sludge is laid down on the bottom. We’ve drilled down through some of them that have 10,000 layers; using carbon dating, one layer was laid down a year. Even if the layer rate changed, and carbon decay changed, what is likelyhood these fundamentally different phenomenon would change rates in lock-step?

  • Kingasaurus

    Nothing like the Ham-ite kooks descending on an atheist blog with all their ignorant righteous bluster! What a joke.

    The bottom line is evolution isn’t going anywhere. and the more time that passes the fewer nutty creationists there are. You people are just like 9-11 conspirators, moon landing hoax proponents and their ilk. Delusional.

    Nobody takes you seriously in the scientific community, and never will. Religious fundamentalism (of all stripes) is fated for the dustbin of history. It’s doomed.

    Ham’s getting rich off the ignorance of people like you. Wake up.

    • Bill

      Wake up. Ham’s not getting as much money as you think.

      By the way, evolution is a religion just as any other religion. It just happens to leave God out.

      Also, do you take Isaac Newton seriously? He was a religious fundamentalist. As was Copernicus, Kepler, and numerous other great scientists. . .

      Also, how does your belief about the origin of the universe in any way hamper your ability to learn about how the universe works? It works the same way, whether God created it or not.

      Finally, the joke’s on you. Because if the “nutty creationists” are right, you’re (quite literally) toast the second you die. If the “nutty creationists” are wrong, they’re still more beneficial to society than the millions who sink into crime and despair because they’ve been taught a worldview that tells them they’re meaningless.

      • Kingasaurus

        You’re a fanatic, Bill.

        Threaten me with hell some more. I enjoy it. Just proves my point that your “god” only keeps people in line with intimidation and threats carried out by proxy.

        There’s a REASON the only people who reject evolution do so for religious reasons. It’s not a coincidence. Who is more likely to be right – the scientists the world over who don’t have a consistent axe to grind, or the kooks who think all wisdom that we can trust was handed down in a heavily redacted book written by Bronze-Age sheepherders.

        Oh, I forgot: Evolution is a Satanic conspiracy (giggle), and that’s why so many people believe it. Pull my other leg.

        Evolution doesn’t teach that you’re “meaningless” – creationism does that. You’re just the worthless plaything of a vengeful deity and you have no inherent worth outside of whatever worth he decides that you have. You’re just the puppet/slave of him, and whatever he says, goes. If he wants to snuff you out for no reason? That’s his right. Tough luck for you. Made the wrong decision when the right decision isn’t obvious? Tough luck – hellfire for you. “Love me or burn.”

        Sounds great. Not.

        Your god is the invention of primitive people – just like every other god the human mind has ever invented. Non-brainwashed people can see this easily. The Hebrews weren’t special and their god wasn’t real – it’s just dumb luck and historical contingency that a descendant of the beliefs is still around in large numbers.

        Good luck with your failed strategy.

        • It’sjustme

          a little bitter are we, kingasaurus.

          • Kingasaurus

            Facts are facts. I weep for people who are blind to them. Willful ignorance makes me angry – as it should any decent person.

            Bad/false ideas should be abandoned as soon as possible.

            • It’sjustme

              We do look at the facts, we just look at them from a different starting place. Willful ignorance makes me upset as well and I have abandoned bad/false ideas.

              • RobMcCune

                Yes, the idea that facts are wrong if they don’t say what you want is a different starting place.

                • Bill

                  Thanks, it’sjustme, but I doubt we’re ever going to make headway on this Atheist website :)))) I appear to have ticked them off. Theirs is a special kind of brainwashed – the brainwashed that tells them that they are the only ones who HAVEN’T been brainwashed.

                  By the way, God doesn’t want to “intimidate” anyone. I was just making a simple point that was just intended to make you think – and you don’t seem to enjoy thinking about it.

                  The Hebrews didn’t invent God; God invented the Hebrews. The God that they worshiped happens to be the God that people worshiped/didn’t worship BEFORE they invented their own gods.

                  Evolution isn’t a Satanic conspiracy. . . don’t know where you got that idea. It’s a purely human one. . .

                  Finally, the Bible hasn’t been redacted. The scripts we read from today are fairly close translations of what we’ve found in historical records and archaeological sites dating back centuries.

                  Post-finally, your heated response to my apparent “fanaticism” seems to make you just as (or more) fanatical as I am. . .

                • Kingasaurus

                  Passion isn’t fanaticism, Bill.

                  Your ideas make you a kook and a fanatic, not how loudly you shout them.

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  Theirs is a special kind of brainwashed – the brainwashed that tells them that they are the only ones who HAVEN’T been brainwashed.

                  I know you are, but what are we?

                  The scripts we read from today are fairly close translations of what we’ve found in historical records and archaeological sites dating back centuries.

                  Although we don’t have any of the originals. We only have copies several copy-generations from the originals. And of all the hand-copied texts, no two agree. They all have differences introduced by the scribe making the copy. Which is usually answered with “Well, God was guiding them”. Ok, if God was guiding them, then why could they not make perfect copies? Or did God let the copies get messed up, and then inspire the council of Nicaea to get it back to rights?

                • sTv0

                  “By the way, God doesn’t want to “intimidate” anyone”. Really? You spoke to “gawd” and he told you that? So this talking snake/burning bush thing is really real….wow. I thought it was only in the minds of the easily deceived…like when that lady in Texas killed her sons because…well, because “gawd told me to” (http://www.cnn.com/2004/LAW/03/29/children.slain/index.html?_s=PM:LAW). Yeah, I get it, now. This “gawd” fellow has a wiiiicked sense of humour!

                • Nohm

                  Bill wrote: “Thanks, it’sjustme, but I doubt we’re ever going to make headway on this Atheist website”

                  Well, Bill, that’s what tends to happen when you make unsupported assertions, especially when you claim that evolution is a conspiracy.

                  Please explain how exactly the theory of evolution is a conspiracy, and how you know this. Thanks!

              • Kingasaurus

                No, you don’t. Your religious dogmatism keeps you from it. If you weren’t wedded to the idea that the Bible was authoritative and/or inerrant, you people wouldn’t fight evolution tooth and nail. But you’re feel as if you’re forced to, due to theological ideas that nobody forced you to accept.

                Inerrancy is something you decided you needed to accept, as there are plenty of Christians who don’t agree with it.

                Science and its conclusions are the same everywhere, no matter what culture you come from. Conversely, what religion you adhere to is almost completely determined by what part of the world you’re born into and what religion your parents inherited and passed on to you. Conversions outside of that DO happen, but they’re comparatively rare.

                So therefore, which set of ideas is more likely to be accurate? It’s obvious what the answer is if you’re not a slave to a particular reading of the Bible.

                The ideas you’ve chosen to latch on to are simply wrong.

                • It’sjustme

                  Who are YOU to tell me what I believe is wrong? That is YOUR opinion. I feel sorry for you that you have to talk down to someone because they do not believe the way you think they should. I think that you are more narrow minded than I am. I await your wonderful reply, “King”asaurus.

                • Kingasaurus

                  Telling someone who believes the earth is flat that thye;re wrong? It’s my duty to simply tell them so. No way to sugar-coat it.

                  Same thing here.

                  Sorry, them’s the breaks. It’s emotionally difficult to hear someone tell you that the ideas you’ve given your life to are simply mistaken. But I can’t help that.

                  The Hebrews invented their god(s) just like every other tribe in history. No good reason to think otherwise. The sooner people realize this, the better.

                • It’sjustme

                  I’m far from believing the earth is flat. I don’t believe in any conspiracy theories, I don’t believe man walking on the moon was a hoax and I definitely don’t believe I’m delusional. There are so many branches of religion and different beliefs that you really shouldn’t lump us all together.

                  I could say the same thing to you…the ideas that you have, been given, thought up one night, whatever, are simply mistaken If I had to guess, I would think that you were burnt very badly by religion. That’s too bad if it’s true. Unfortunately there are fanatics out there who preach pretty crazy things and truly do abuse people and brainwash them (I’ve been a victim of it). But please don’t lump everyone together.
                  Have a great night.

                • Kingasaurus

                  “I’m far from believing the earth is flat. I don’t believe in any
                  conspiracy theories, I don’t believe man walking on the moon was a hoax
                  and I definitely don’t believe I’m delusional.”

                  I know you don’t. It’s an analogy I was hoping I wouldn’t have to spell out. Oh well…

                  “I would think that you were burnt very badly by religion”

                  I wasn’t.

                  I just hate bad, unsupported ideas, and the incredible propensity humans have for deciding that believing things “on faith” is somehow virtuous or worthy of praise. it’s just not. “Faith’ is a scam to get an idea to propagate itself without even having to show that the idea has real merit.

                  The scientific method, though imperfect, is specifically designed to limit the biases of humans who engage in it. Religious faith is precisely the opposite. You need to believe either without evidence, or in the teeth of opposing evidence, and the more you do that, the more virtuous you are. You weren’t supposed to admire Thomas for needing to see the resurrected Jesus, you were instead supposed to admire the other disciples and later Christians who didn’t need proof nor even ask for it. Very insidious. Twisted, in fact.

                  People should try to believe as many true things and as few false things as possible, because nobody wants to be wrong and make bad decisions based on incorrect beliefs.

                  The scientific method is the best tool we have for distinguishing fact from falsehood, and religious faith has no reliable mechanism with which to decide whether its ideas are true or false. You’re just supposed to “really believe” that it’s true, or have a “knowledge in your heart” that it is.

                  A billion Muslims operate on faith (and have powerful religious experiences that they attribute to god), just like a billion Christians do. Faith just ain’t doing the job. It’s doesn’t show its reliability as a truth-finding mechanism. It’s lousy.

              • Roger Peritone

                No, you don’t. You people have to constantly distort or ignore facts that shoot down you views. For some examples of such from Mr. Ham:
                http://noanswersingenesis.org.au/aig_and_home_schooling.htm

                Also, there is that statement of faith that AIG/CMI, etc have to adhere to:
                http://www.answersingenesis.org/about/faith

                “By definition, no apparent, perceived or claimed evidence in any field,
                including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the
                scriptural record. Of primary importance is the fact that evidence is
                always subject to interpretation by fallible people who do not possess
                all information.”

                • Nohm

                  To the people that came here from Ken’s post, it’s important to know just how damning that statement of faith is. For example, wouldn’t “the scriptural record” also be “always subject to interpretation by fallible people who do not possess all information”? If so, then how do you reliably know whether or not something contradicts the scriptural record?

                  Additionally, if someone from any other religion wrote that, exactly how seriously would you take them?

            • paul

              You are willfully ignorant, so you are angry with yourself. No reason to continue this. Hope one day you wake up from the lie that you embrace.

              • sTv0

                Right. On. First, threaten the heathens with hell. When that doesn’t work, bring up pseudo-science and treat it as if it were real science. When that doesn’t work, pull our your Super-Duper Trump Card: threaten the heathens with abandonment…just like your “gawd” abandoned, oh, say those poor 250,000 people killed in the Christmas Tsunami of 2004. Or those 9 million children who die on this planet each year before they reach the age of 5…

        • Paul

          My friend I have seen very few people more ignorant than you. You hate God because one day you will answer to Him. The Bible is clear, “The Fool has said in his heart their is no God.” Evolution is not even a good theory, it is completely and utterly disproven, you will never sound intelligent using a failed theory.
          Praying for you.

          • Kingasaurus

            “My friend I have seen very few people more ignorant than you.”

            Since you hang around other creationists, I highly doubt that.

            “The Fool has said in his heart their is no God.”

            The wise man says it out loud, however.

            Pray all you want for me. Go nuts. Silently whispering to your imaginary friend is pointless and accomplishes nothing. It’s the equivalent of talking to yourself. At least the time you spend praying is time NOT spent doing further damage to your neighbors with your ridiculous, outmoded pseudo-scientific ideas.

            I can’t “hate” god, because you can’t hate an imaginary character. I don’t “hate” Zeus OR Thor either. Yahweh is just as imaginary.

            I only hate the damage faith-based ideas do to peoples’ intelligence and their intellectual integrity.

            Feel free to scurry on back to Ken Ham’s playland where he refuses to allow dissenters like us the privilege of posting there. At least your comments were allowed here. What does it say about religious fanatics that the thought police are always out in force, because they can’t allow their little minds to be poisoned with all that nasty, non-bible stuff.

            Doubt is the enemy, right?

            Very sad.

            • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

              The Fool has said in his heart their is no God.

              – God

          • Andrew L

            M4C, what evidence is there that evolution has been disproved? It’s pretty hard to hate that which I think doesn’t exist.

            • Paul

              Evolution, if that is what you are seriously defending, has no evidence, none, 0. You do not have to believe God exists for Him to exist.

              • Andrew L

                I agree, God’s existence is not dependent on my belief about him. The same is also true of your dismissal of evolution. I think you have either been mislead about the evidence for evolution or have been blinded from a prior commitment to Christianity. What evidence do you have that am wrong in my assertion in the previous sentence. I’ve read and studied the New Testament, what have you read from a pro-evolution prespective?

              • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                Evolution doesn’t mean God doesn’t exist. Saying there is no evidence for evolution just means you’re suffering from cognitive dissonance on a scale that would make Anton & Babinski blush.

              • Andrew L

                Paul, actually the evidence is quite substantially pro-evolution. Rather than, as some creationists do, obsess over trees growing through rock layers or ‘blood’ found in dinosaur bones, look into the considerable evidence for the long geologic forming of the Earth and the clear broadening of species across Earth history.

          • sTv0

            Yay! I was waiting for it. Didn’t have to wait long. Thanks, Paul! You did your side proud. Wasn’t sure which “gawd” you were going to hide behind, but was pretty sure it would be the xTian “gawd”, and “bingo!”, I got it on the first try! Of course, the Greeks, the Canaanites, the Babylonians, the Egyptians, the Sumerians…they all had their “gawds”, too, and they all believed in them just as much as xTians do theirs. But then, that was thousands of years ago, and all those competing narratives…they’re just…well, “fools”, as you so eloquently put it. So, hat tip, Paul baby! You done good! Please post some more of your nonsense! The comedy value alone is worth the price of admission!!!

          • Nohm

            Hi Paul.

            Is it possible that your current understanding of the theory of evolution is wrong? Is it possible that you misunderstand the claims of the theory of evolution?

      • Roger Peritone

        Bill: Would you care to explain your statement that “By the way, evolution is a religion just as any other religion. It just happens to leave God out.” please?

      • Nohm

        Hi Bill.

        Is it possible that your current understanding of the theory of evolution is wrong? Is it possible that you misunderstand the claims of the theory of evolution?

  • This mom’s for Christ

    you call yourself the friendly athiest? nothing friendly about the title of this piece

    • RobMcCune

      If you really want to get indignant about something try reading below the headline.

    • Mario Strada

      That would be “The Pandering Atheist” you are looking for.

  • Sabanian

    lol at “mountains of evidence of evolution.” People so willing to embrace a lie. Truly tragic.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      Comparative molecular genetics showing common ancestry among species that matches morphology

      Rings species showing formation of new species

      Vestigial organs (why do whales have hips)

      specific bio-diversity especially on volcanic vs. former continental islands

      observable evolution of bacteria, including ability to freeze, replay, and identify specific mutations

      co-evolution of traits (echo location in dolphins and bats, eyes in vertebrates and invertebrates)

      coincidence of diverging fossil record with measured plate tectonics

      embryological development which maintains some evolutionary phases (mammal embryos have gills)

      Shall I go on, or are you already busy looking things up on AiG to get Ken’s response? While you’re there, ask Ken how all the Kangaroos got onto the Ark, and back to Australia after the flood. I don’t recall, is he a believer in the ‘volcano’ method of species dispersal after the flood? Oh, and have they decided whether Lions and Tigers are the same ‘kind’ or not?

    • Nohm

      Hi Sabanian.

      Is it possible that your current understanding of the theory of evolution is wrong? Is it possible that you misunderstand the claims of the theory of evolution?

  • http://www.facebook.com/natalie.vu Natalie Vu

    How stupid is he? “Where you there?” That’s his logic? He can put that on everything… even the holocaust. And just ignoring the evidence?! That’s pure ignorance! These poor kids! But then again, I could smell BS when I was a kid.

  • Proud Creationist

    THE MOST HONEST COMMENT I HAVE EVER HEARD COMING FROM AN EVOLUTIONIST/SCIENTIST:

    It was given by Dr. George Wald, professor emeritus of Biology at Harvard University, and a Nobel Prize winner. In an article in the “Scientific American” magazine, Wald said:

    “There are only 2 possibilities about how life arose. One is spontaneous generation and the other is a supernatural creative act of God. There is no 3rd possibility. Spontaneous generation, the belief that life arose from non-living matter, was scientifically disproved 120 years ago by Louis Pasteur, among others. That leaves us with only one other possible conclusion: that life arose as a supernatural creative act of God. I will NOT accept Creation philosophically because I DO NOT WANT to believe in God. Therefore, I choose to BELIEVE in that which I know to be scientifically IMPOSSIBLE – spontaneous generation.”1 (bold letters mine)

    1Wald, George, “Innovation and Biology,” Scientific American, Vol. 199, Sept. 1958, page 100—as quoted in “The Truth About Evolution!” by Robin A Brace (2002)

    • Proud Creationist

      bottom line, People will refuse to believe in something even if it is proven right, just because they don’t want to believe it to be true.

      • Andrew L

        Well this statement is certainly true in an ironic way. We of course are still waiting for the ‘most honest comment’ from a creationist.

      • Nohm

        Hi Proud Creationist.

        Is it possible that your current understanding of the theory of evolution is wrong? Is it possible that you misunderstand the claims of the theory of evolution?

      • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

        Right, and you’ll refuse to believe that that’s a made up quote even if someone waves an actual copy of Scientific American under your nose, just because you want it to be true.

        What was that statement of principle that someone posted from AiG? We start with the assumption that the bible is inerrant, and toss anything that shows otherwise?

        Sounds like something I’ve heard Georgia Purdom (Creation Museum geneticist). Start with your answer, and work backwards to prove it. Discard anything that contradicts it. (She didn’t say exactly that, but it’s a much more accurate quote than the Ward quote)

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      Not only is that ‘quote’ horibly butchered to get those exact words, it’s also taken completely out of context to change Wald’s obvious meaning.

      Here, read the whole thing:

      http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/quotes/mine/part1-4.html

      (and keep in mind that abiogenesis is not evolution)

  • Andrew L

    Hemant, comments seem to be disappearing.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      That’s just the way disqus works when you have a lot of comments. If you reload the page and methodically keep loading them, you’ll find it. I’m pretty sure Hemant isn’t deleting anything from this thread. It’s pretty rare he deletes anything, and it takes a spam or real personal attack before he does.

  • Hemant Mehta

    Mr Hemant Metha, on the contrary you ar using the FOIL method to steer people into your pit hole.

    • ragarth

      I wish! If math made for a good pickup line, I’d be a lot less single.

  • Sean Doherty

    Lots of ‘Christian’ trolls…Who Would Jesus Troll?

  • lynnnoe

    G. Wald, ‘Scientific American’, “Origins of Life” 1954.

    The great idea emerges originally in the consciousness
    of the race as a vague intuition; and this is the form it
    keeps, rude and imposing, in myth, tradition and poetry.
    This is its core, its enduring aspect. In this form science
    finds it, clothes it with fact, analyses its content,
    develops its detail, rejects it, and finds it ever again.
    In achieving the scientific view, we do not ever wholly
    lose the intuitive, the mythological. Both have meaning for
    us, and neither is complete without the other. The Book of
    Genesis contains still our poem of the Creation; and when
    God questions Job out of the whirlwind, He questions
    us.

    Let me cite an example. Throughout our history we have
    entertained two kinds of views of the origin of life: one
    that life was created supernaturally, the other that it
    arose “spontaneously” from nonliving material. In the 17th
    to 19th centuries those opinions provided the ground of a
    great and bitter controversy. There came a curious point,
    toward the end of the 18th century, when each side of the
    controversy was represented by a Roman Catholic priest. The
    principle opponent of the theory of the spontaneous
    generation was then the Abbe Lazzaro Spallanzani, an
    Italian priest; and its principal champion was John
    Turberville Needham, an English Jesuit.

    Since the only alternative to some form of spontaneous
    generation is a belief in supernatural creation, and since
    the latter view seems firmly implanted in the
    Judeo-Christian theology, I wondered for a time how a
    priest could support the theory of spontaneous generation.
    Needham tells one plainly. The opening paragraphs of the
    Book of Genesis can in fact be reconciled with either view.
    In its first account of Creation, it says not quite that
    God made living things, but He commanded the earth and
    waters to produce them. The language used is: “let the
    waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath
    life…. Let the earth bring forth the living creature
    after his kind.” In the second version of creation the
    language is different and suggests a direct creative act:
    “And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of
    the field, and every fowl of the air….” In both accounts
    man himself–and woman–are made by God’s direct
    intervention. The myth itself therefore offers
    justification for either view. Needham took the position
    that the earth and waters, having once been ordered to
    bring forth life, remained ever after free to do so; and
    this is what we mean by spontaneous generation.

    This great controversy ended in the mid-19th century
    with the experiments of Louis Pasteur, which seemed to
    dispose finally of the possibility of spontaneous
    generation. For almost a century afterward biologists
    proudly taught their students this history and the firm
    conclusion that spontaneous generation had been
    scientifically refuted and could not possibly occur. Does
    this mean that they accepted the alternative view, a
    supernatural creation of life? Not at all. They had no
    theory of the origin of life, and if pressed were likely to
    explain that questions involving such unique events as
    origins and endings have no place in science.

    A few years ago, however, this question re-emerged in a
    new form. Conceding that spontaneous generation doe not
    occur on earth under present circumstances, it asks how,
    under circumstances that prevailed earlier upon this
    planet, spontaneous generation did occur and was the source
    of the earliest living organisms. Within the past 10 years
    this has gone from a remote and patchwork argument spun by
    a few venturesome persons–A. I. Oparin in Russia, J. B. S.
    Haldane in England–to a favored position, proclaimed with
    enthusiasm by many biologists.

    Have I cited here a good instance of my thesis? I had
    said that in these great questions one finds two opposed
    views, each of which is periodically espoused by science.
    In my example I seem to have presented a supernatural and a
    naturalistic view, which were indeed opposed to each other,
    but only one of which was ever defended scientifically. In
    this case it would seem that science has vacillated, not
    between two theories, but between one theory and no
    theory.

    That, however, is not the end of the matter. Our present
    concept of the origin of life leads to the position that,
    in a universe composed as ours is, life inevitably arises
    wherever conditions permit. We look upon life as part of
    the order of nature. It does not emerge immediately with
    the establishment of that order; long ages must pass before
    [page 100 | page 101] it appears. Yet given enough time, it
    is an inevitable consequence of that order. When speaking
    for myself, I do not tend to make sentences containing the
    word God; but what do those persons mean who make such
    sentences? They mean a great many different things; indeed
    I would be happy to know what they mean much better than I
    have yet been able to discover. I have asked as opportunity
    offered, and intend to go on asking. What I have learned is
    that many educated persons now tend to equate their concept
    of God with their concept of the order of nature. This is
    not a new idea; I think it is firmly grounded in the
    philosophy of Spinoza. When we as scientists say then that
    life originated inevitably as part of the order of our
    universe, we are using different words but do not necessary
    mean a different thing from what some others mean who say
    that God created life. It is not only in science that great
    ideas come to encompass their own negation. That is true in
    religion also; and man’s concept of God changes as he
    changes.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson
    • TheBlackCat13

      I think your timeline is a bit off. Ideas concerning life forming on primordial conditions date back to the early 1900′s, and the Miller-Urey experiment that first demonstrated experimentally that this is plausible took place in 1952. This is more than half a century ago, far more than “a few years”. And it is hardly something that has just emerged in the last 10 years, I was reading extensively about it nearly 30 years ago. I even learned about it in junior high.

      • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

        if you find my reply and follow the link in it, or dig DEEP into the comments here, it makes a ton more sense. This is the original article which creationists are pulling from with a completely fabricated quote.

  • Joan

    Ever consider the possibility that the speed of light may not always be constant? http://www.livescience.com/29111-speed-of-light-not-constant.html

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      No variability in the speed of light is going to make the earth 10K years old.

      • Joan

        Really Rich? Please sight your source.

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          Really Joan?

          For one, I’m not aware of any earth age evidence directly related to the speed of light. Not saying there isn’t any, but there IS lots that has nothing to do with the speed of light. e.g. the speed of the movement of the continents, and the rate of genetic mutation per generation in sea worms.

          But let’s play along and say there is a correlation. The real age of the earth is about 4.54 billion years old. If the real answer was 10K, we’d be off by a factor of 545000.

          Do you realize how long your yardstick would have to be to measure the distance from LA to NY and get 8 yards?

      • Joan

        Wow, really Rich? And how did you come to that conclusion? Please sight your source/s.

      • Joan

        Wow. Really, Rich? And how did you come to that conclusion? Please sight your source/s.

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          If you’re going to keep repeating the same typo, then I’ll give you a pro tip, it’s ‘cite’ not ‘sight’. And I already replied, but with this many comments on here, disqus gets funky and maybe you missed it. If not, well, it’s not really all that important, because I’m pretty sure you’ll still cling to the idea that just maybe science is going to change its mind on the age of the earth.

          Don’t hold your breath.

          • Joan

            A “pro” tip? That was amusing. Oh, and btw, congratulations. You can spell too. Trust me, I won’t be holding my breath, but it certainly won’t be over science “changing it’s mind”. Science never changes. Scientists and their opinions, however do; quite frequently. Fickle beings they are; esp. when it suits their agenda. True science only confirms what the Bible has already said. Always has, always will. I won’t waste my time looking for your response though. I really don’t have the stomach for a lot of regurgitated, mainstream nonsense.

  • Kendra Perkins

    Hmmm…so is this supposed to be “friendly”? All you ever do is attack. I’m convinced that you secretly have a thing for Ken Ham. You can’t seem to stop talking about him! Look, please just stick to teaching those birds with their heads stuck in the sand and for cripes sake, leave poor Ken Ham alone. He’s already taken.

  • Brent

    you are a fool. You character bash Ken Ham but give no support against the actual science. It is foolish to argue that with you however, because you don’t want to find the truth, you just have a childish need to make a prominent Christian look bad. The evidence is as close as your hand. You have to stop putting it over your eyes to see though.


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