Answers in Genesis Responds to Our Writeup About Their Women’s Conference

It looks like Ken Ham and Dr. Georgia Purdom found out that I sent atheists to their “Answers for Women” conference. (We know this because they don’t link to the site and their comments are closed…)

Purdom doesn’t want to respond to the claims Louise and Kate made in their post, probably because it’s hard to defend slides like this:

But she felt the writeup consisted of unfair attacks on Creationists:

I have decided not to go through their post point by point and expose error because that would take an enormous amount of time. Much of what they said consisted of ad hominem attacks or arguments that lack substance relevant to the topic and therefore do not warrant a response.

There are no ad hominem attacks (or known errors) in the piece. All Kate and Louise did was say how the Creation Museum was definitively and scientifically wrong.

The only correction we’ve had to make to the article — one we made as soon as we found out about it — was updating the number of people who work at the Museum who have PhDs from secular universities. We said two. The number’s actually higher.

Ken Ham, who refuses to link to this site so his readers can judge the writeup for themselves and didn’t even notice that we fixed our comment about the PhDs several days ago, is also trying to make a mountain out of a molehill:

… after the conference, an “interesting” blog appeared on a well-trafficked atheist blog. Two women, both atheists, had attended the conference in an “undercover” manner — with an obvious agenda. Now, at the beginning of their commentary, these women expressed that they were “jumpy” and afraid when they arrived at the Creation Museum. Why? What exactly were they afraid of? I’ll get to that in a moment.

… it was actually quite humorous to read what these two women wrote about how scared they were — they portrayed their visit almost as if they were undercover agents in a communist country hoping they wouldn’t be discovered for fear of some horrible reprisal.  It was just ridiculous stuff to read.

No one was worried about getting kicked out. And while Kate and Louise didn’t announce their atheism out loud, they weren’t hiding it either.

Ham went on as if he’d never even read the post (which is very likely):

They made fun of the attire of attendees at the conference, indicating that they had to wear skirts and couldn’t wear shorts.

Lies. The only mention of clothes came when Kate said she went to the hotel lobby in shorts, felt out of place when she realized the other conference attendees at the hotel were wearing long skirts, and went back to change her clothes. She wanted to blend in; she wasn’t making fun of them.

Actually, I believe these atheists were “scared” because they felt the guilt of why there were really there at the conference.

I believe [the atheists came to the conference] because they know we have such powerful message. Plus Satan wants to do all he can to try to undermine us.

Oh yeah. Sure. Totally. You got us there.

I asked Louise if she wanted to respond to the “substantive” points Ham and Purdom made and she wrote this:

Ham incorrectly stated why we were scared to be there. It wasn’t because we were “undercover” or we felt “guilty.” It was because they had a bomb-sniffing dog and security everywhere. Really, if Ken Ham doesn’t feel safe walking unescorted around his museum, why should we?

I challenge Ken Ham (who was not present at this event) to accurately describe or write about the event. Despite his assumption that our blog post was partially written before entering the museum/conference, it was not. Yes, we entered with expectations; some were exceeded, some were met, and several fell short. (For example, I expected every conversation with attendees to reference how great God is and was surprised to find that not to be the case.)

The misinformation, demonization, and outright disdain they showed toward anyone who isn’t a “Creationist” or “Christian” came shining through at the conference. Ken Ham may say, “Why are they so worried about us?” I would flip the question back to him. We were only two females who respectfully attended a conference and wrote about it. Atheists and “Nones” comprise less than 30% of the population while the majority of Americans call themselves “Christians” and nearly half the country believes in Creationism.

So why are you so worried about us?

I can answer that.

It’s because atheists know how to refute Creationist propaganda. When we showcase their soundbytes and materials through our scientifically-minded filters, they come out looking like ignorant fools who cling to their Bible in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. They’re afraid that carefully sheltered, home-schooled children are going to find our critiques of them. They’re afraid those kids will start asking tough questions. They’re afraid the kids will start to doubt their displays. The only solution they’ve come up with is pretending to play the victim when we point out how wrong and silly it all is.

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.

  • Randomfactor

    The highlighted slide is amazingly accurate. Ken Ham shoots himself in his own foundations…causing irreparable and spreading cracks. Speaking of “undercover agents,” he’s the best sort–not even realizing he’s on our side.

    • Space Cadet

      Actually, Ham isn’t on that slide. He’s on the next one, triumphantly riding a T-Rex across the waters to bring the fight directly to the Humanists Satanists.

  • Space Cadet

    Of course there were ad hominem attacks in Kate and Louise’s piece. For the AiG folks, simply identifying as an atheist is the biggest ad hominem there is. After all, we don’t bow down to their (unending) assertion that God is the Ultimate Authority of Everything That Has Ever, Or Will Ever, Exist. Ever.

  • Rain

    THE PROBLEM

    No the problem is that creationism is baloney. Duh…

  • Taz

    History has taught us all to be weary of religious fanatics.

    • K. Johnston

      I think you mean “wary”, but if so, you couldn’t have made a better typo if you tried. :)

      • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

        No reason we can’t be both wary AND weary of them, yeah?

      • Taz

        You’re right, I did mean “wary”, although I’m certainly weary of them as well.

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

    I don’t know why this message hasn’t sunk in yet, but in the 21st century you should just assume that if you are doing something or saying something in a public way that someone is making a video or audio recording or is taking pictures. That may not always be true, but you should assume they are. If you don’t want what you said in your comedy act or at a political meeting to wind up on youtube, just don’t say it. That’s a good general rule anyway. if you are going to have to apologize for what you are saying, you shouldn’t be saying it.

    The difference between Hemant and Ham, is that one of them is interested in the truth. When Hemant was corrected on the facts, he corrected that immediately. Does any creationist do this? Occasionally, but it’s the exception, not the rule. Sorry but the women who reported on the conference did nothing wrong. They wouldn’t even have been doing anything wrong if they did just go to mock them for comedy purposes. And if what they reported was wrong, then he should point out the specific mistakes. Faulting people on their impressions or observations is silly. Everyone is going to have a different experience at any event. Smart readers know that they are reading someone else’s viewpoint and that their own might have been somewhat or even significantly different. So why are the boxers in such a twist over this?

    • Free

      What is Truth? Prove it.

      • Charles Honeycutt

        Mormon much?

        Given that you’re online, you should very easily be able to research how well-refuted your argument is and how tiresome its adherents are. It isn’t our job to go through this for the twentieth time just on this one blog so you can, like all the others, get more and more frustrated as your house of Apologetics cards topples and take to dishonest word games as the Backlash effect kicks in. A two-semester grasp of Philosophy will not stand up if any one of a dozen regular commenters here goes after your argument. Stop assuming it works without checking it for faults, look up why it doesn’t work, and then THINK.

      • RobertoTheChi

        I’m a flying dog who has a tiny squirrel who likes to ride on the tiny saddle on my back. Prove that this is not true.

      • indorri
      • Hat Stealer

        You’re an idiot. That is the truth.

        Ta-daa!

      • Spuddie

        Truth has no relation to anything you have ever posted.

      • Michael W Busch

        [opens dictionary]
        Truth, noun.
        Conformity to fact or reality, correctness, accuracy

        Checking the definition of a word really isn’t that hard to do.

        As long as Louise and Kate reported the facts of what they saw and heard correctly, Ham’s statement that they didn’t is false. Given that what they reported is consistent with the other available information – including many statements by Ham himself – the probability is very high that they were being quite truthful.

  • NewEnglandBob

    Since they live by lying, one would expect lies to defend their lies.

  • ashley

    As I mentioned here, in his blog Ham accused the two women of posting “… propaganda, the typical misrepresentations, the usual negative comments, the typical mocking, the usual inaccuracies and usual lies, etc…” but failed to elaborate on these claimed misrepresentations, inaccuracies and lies apart from the PhD point which probably was corrected before Ham’s blog even appeared.

    Probably because he CAN’T (and thus, like Purdom, he did not link directly to the blog post in question nor identify it).
    http://forums.bcseweb.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=2967&start=1335

  • Carmelita Spats

    Quote, “Satan wants to do all he can to try to undermine us.” There they go again: blaming Satan. Satan just does not have time in his busy schedule to waste on the insane braying at a creationist-modesty-body-shaming session featuring Al “Birth Control Pills Kill Babies” Mohler’s dipped-in-concrete wife. Satan is way busy over at the Mormon temple inspecting low-rise Y-front occult Mormon underwear. Besides, every three seconds there’s another creepy Jesusface popping up somewhere in the world and Satan has to be on top of this. If Satan is such a problem, maybe rascal Yahweh could just get rid of the pesky bugger once and for all. I’m sick of paranoid Christians who won’t take personal responsibility.

  • http://www.facebook.com/liz.heywood2 Liz Heywood

    I really enjoyed hearing about the Creationist Museum. Or maybe that was because of the Bag of Drugs I keep handy when reading about fundies.

  • Beadknitter

    I wish we could stop giving Ken Ham and his gang of ignoramuses attention, but I understand why we can’t.

  • Sweetredtele

    How can Ken respond when he wasn’t there?

    • JohnnieCanuck

      He knows what his god thinks on a wide range of subjects. Given that, how hard would it be for him to know what a couple of mere female humans were thinking and doing?

      He just makes up whatever he wants to in either case and he’s all good to go.

  • Rain

    Actually, I believe these atheists were “scared” because they felt the guilt of why there were really there at the conference.

    A very childish thing to say. That is something normal people would only say in jest sarcastically as a joke if they were poking fun at someone, much in the same way they would say “nanner-nanner boo boo phhlpprpp *sticks tongue out*”–i.e. if they were facetiously giving someone the “raspberries”. And yeah, I think that’s exactly what Ham was doing too, except with more meanness than humor.

    • Anna

      It seems to be a fairly standard accusation within fundamentalist Christianity. If you feel uncomfortable or out of place (and what normal person wouldn’t in that situation?) they believe you feel that way out of guilt, that you’re being “convicted” by their deity.

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    In that picture why is “god’s word” firing on itself?

    • Nate Frein

      He’s criticizing the uncoordinated actions of the “godly”. Basically, he’s saying that christians are shooting themselves in the foot.

      • Raising_Rlyeh

        ah ok, i was taking it to mean that ham thinks certain christians are destroying god’s word because they don’t believe exactly what he believes.

        • Kingasaurus

          That’s what I think too. Ham’s criticizing non-fundie Christians who he thinks are undermining “God’s Word” by not agreeing with the fundies. Liberal Christians who are shooting at the Bible from inside the wall, as it were.

        • Nate Frein

          I think we’re actually saying the same thing. I certainly agree with your interpretation.

  • eric

    Slightly off-topic but I love that slide. Can’t believe creationists are using it, given that the metahpor is pretty obvious that ‘man’s word’ helps you point your cannon correctly, and god’s word doesn’t.
    I believe ther was an earlier B&W version that didn’t reference recent political topics (like gay marriage), but secular stuff like “science” instead. Does anyone know where I can download either version?

  • JA

    It would be hilarious if Ham was greeted by Anubis on death. And then he gets taken to the scales to have his heart weighed against a feather of truth…

  • Kingasaurus

    There’s so much delusion in that slide, I hardly know where to start.

    It’s near impossible, but…

    …what you’d like to do is talk some sense into these people by making them understand that what they call “God’s Word” is just MAN’S WORD, like everything else they’ve ever read. The fact that they don’t realize this is where most of the trouble comes from.

    Ken, it’s all in your head. Recognizing that your Bible was written completely by fallible humans like everything else ever written is the first step to recovering your senses.

  • Belaam

    I find it interesting that according to their slide, they seem to have defeated abortion, but gay marriage and euthanasia are doing fine. Given the number of states in which abortion is legal (50, though restrictions in many states) vs. the number of states in which euthanasia (only legal in 3, and then only if you self-administer the drugs) and gay marriage (12) are legal, I really don’t know what standards they are using here to declare that the balloon of abortion has been defeated.

    I’m also not even sure how one would go about declaring moral relativism to have either won or been defeated as it’s more a philosophical position… I guess for Ham et al. as long as there are cultures and religions other than Fundamentalist Christian in existence, Moral Relativism is “winning”.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X