Houston Atheists Plan to Demonstrate During Creationist Home School Conference

The Texas Home School Coalition is hosting a conference On August 1-3, and Head Creationist Ken Ham will be one of the keynote speakers, preaching his lies to parents and children, like how our planet is only a few thousand years old, and how dinosaurs and humans lived at the same time, and how the Creation Museum is doing just great financially.

The Houston Atheists are planning to welcome Ham to their city their own way:

Houston Atheists will be there too, in a demonstration outside the convention, to promote the real science and to encourage convention attendees to find out what science really says — by researching for themselves the truth about the age of the universe and where we all came from, and by attending our event the following day, Answers In Science.

In addition to the protest, that Answers in Science event at the Houston Museum of Natural Science is looking pretty amazing, with panelists including blogger/biologist PZ Myers, YouTubers AronRa and Sister Lilandra, and former pastor Mike Aus.

You can get more information at MeetUp — RSVP if you can make it!

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.

  • Anthony Magnabosco

    I just might have to drive out there for this one.

  • Mike De Fleuriot

    This what atheism is about, fighting against religion.

    • EmpiricalPierce

      This is what skepticism is about: fighting against irrationality.

    • Katwise

      This is what secularism is about; fighting to keep church and state separate.

      • Dave G.

        This is a homeschool conference, not a public school system event. Please explain.

        • http://confessionsfromthepeanutgallery.blogspot.com/ YankeeCynic

          Ken Ham has advocated for three elimination of the teaching of evolution from public schools, or at a minimum an adoption of that “teach the controversy” nonsense.

          The homeschool movement is basically a lab to capture his preferred replacement program. Which has such brilliant cognitive insights like asking “were you there?”

          • Dave G.

            Then perhaps the protests should happen when he’s doing that. This is a homeschool conference, and not impacting the public school curriculum.

            • http://boldquestions.wordpress.com/ Ubi Dubium

              When he’s doing that, the people we want to reach will be sitting in the audience. The best times to do protest are before and after the time he’s speaking.
              And homeschool conferences can affect available homeschool curriculums, and not all homeschoolers are religious fundamentalists. Even if they were, Ham is still promoting lying to children about the nature of reality, and those children will grow up to be voters

            • http://confessionsfromthepeanutgallery.blogspot.com/ YankeeCynic

              …did you not bother reading the second paragraph in my response? Seriously. You’re not worth bothering if you fail to demonstrate basic reading comprehension.

              • Artor

                Dave G has failed to demonstrate any kind of comprehension I’m afraid, let alone reading.

            • Taz

              It is a home-school conference, not a religious gathering. And yet one particular religious mythology is being pushed in place of well-established science. That fact is worth pointing out to the attendees and the public.

        • Katwise

          Actually, I was responding to Mike De Fleuriot: atheism is simply a stance in relation to belief in gods; one can be an atheist without desiring to fight against religion. But to answer your question, I see that other commenters have explained why it’s important for skeptics, humanists, rationalists, secularists and any others concerned about the influence of religious dogma on the teaching of established science need to challenge Ken Ham and his ilk.

    • Charvakus

      This is what humanism is about: fighting against intolerance.

      • Dave G.

        Actually, it seems to be about pressing people to conform to a certain dogmatic definition of tolerance.

        • skinnercitycyclist

          It is about freeing them from dogma, Dave. You do understand that creationism is dogma (start with the conclusions and shoehorn the evidence in no matter how poorly it fits) and science is not (we start with evidence and draw conclusions based on it, revising our conclusions as evidence is discovered).

          Glad I could help your misunderstanding.

    • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

      Atheism is only an answer to a question.
      Activism for Secularism is the “about.”
      There is no fight against something (theism) that has no basis in reality. Theism is dead.
      Christians don’t believe in god and jesus they only believe in christian politics. And, on the home front they only believe in themselves.
      Politicized theism is alive and well and needs to be assaulted every time it rears its vile head.
      If there is a fight, it is between secularism and theocratic-ism, a battle between politicized theism and secular values. (yup it’s redundant)
      But get this point and try to understand it because it is simply no more than what it is: Atheism is an answer to a question, the question is “Are there gods?” The answer is, “No.” If you don’t like that then too frakken bad, because no matter what stupid argument you make the natural evidence proves that we are correct. Furthermore…
      Atheism is not a fight between good and evil, those are theist concepts. Atheism is not a moral code that requires a denial of your innate cognitive functions, that is a theistic concept.
      Atheism is not a religion, that is an assumed and misconceived concept invented by theists.

      If you so very much have to assign an attribute to Atheism, then Atheism is the original and innocent philosophical state of humanity before lies were invented to explain natural phenomena.

      If you are an Atheist, well you need to wake the frak up, because the only reason christian’s acknowledge your existence is so they can remember who’s head they are going to stomp on when they succeed in turning United States into a theocracy. So to answer your rhetorical question; Yes Atheism is a fight against religion, why because the religious and more specifically the American Christians, would not shed a single tear for any Atheist they could kill in defence of their idiocy. Religion still exists because self imposed stupidity still exists.

      • AnarchyReigns

        Wow, so much insecurity in once such post (one I’m sure you copy and paste on every site you visit). Atheism is a mere 2-3% of the world’s population and even IF Christianity were gone you’d have to deal with Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, paganism etc. and the thousands of other religions who won’t be as “tolerant” of you as Christians. I don’t condone Islam’s terrorist tactics but you’re lucky Christians don’t carry the same level of hostility towards atheists in America. So you can keep on “fighting” if you want to but the sheer numbers of religious people will never let you be the majority.

        “If you don’t like that then too frakken bad, because no matter what stupid argument you make the natural evidence proves that we are correct”

        You have no evidence. None. Zilch. If you DID, then the world would be a very different place. Evidence is FACT and if you were to disprove the existence of a God (not even the Christian one) then yes, I would believe you. But you have NOTHING and that is why you’re so hostile towards religion. You generalize all Christians into the same bigoted bubble, yet atheists are the most HATED minority in the States, more so than rapists, and that is a well known FACT.

        The more you trash on people’s beliefs (not just Christians), the less sympathy I have for you, why should I care the slightest about someone who abuses my beliefs? You deserve nothing but the contempt and distrust your community has earned over the years and I am GLAD you will never see the secular world you dream of before you or your children’s children are nothing but worm chow.

        It’s a really sad world we live in IF the mentally disturbed sky-daddy worshipers are in power and the “intellectual” atheists are the ones who are a minority. How could you people let that happen? Cowardice? Insecurity? No, it’s FEAR.

        • Pattrsn

          Do you have to stop and clean the spittle off your screen every now and again or do you have some kind of splash guard?

        • Guest

          derp

        • katiehippie

          It is my duty to point out that using CAPITAL LETTERS doesn’t make your argument RIGHT.

          • Godlesspanther

            And writing poetry in all lower case doesn’t make you e.e. cummings.

        • Discordia

          Weird how you have your panties in a wad about atheists trashing (i.e. standing up against) Christians while saying nothing about how Christians like to trash (i.e. shit all over) every one else’s rights.

          You can believe whatever you want to, but when you start forcing your unsubstantiated beliefs onto other people then you are going to see some reaction.

          Science says oleander contains the deadly toxins oleandrin, neriin, digitoxigenin and olendroside. The Bible says that God gave all trees and herbs to humans to eat. The Bible also says that True Believers can drink deadly things and not be harmed. Since you don’t believe in the facts of science, how about you go brew yourself up a nice glass of oleander tea from the leaves and tell me how that works for you? Use eight or ten leaves just to make sure, OK?

        • UWIR

          “You generalize all Christians into the same bigoted bubble, yet atheists are the most HATED minority in the States, more so than rapists, and that is a well known FACT.”
          No, it’s not, and if it were true, it would reflect badly on Christians, not atheists. The first part of your sentence appears to be taking issue with the accusation that Christians are bigoted, while the second part asserts that Christians are bigoted. I don’t understand what you were thinking when you posted this.

          • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

            he wasn’t (thinking)

    • Paul

      I didn’t know atheism was about “fighting” I thought it was the disbelief in a god or gods?

      • Dave G.

        Actions tend to speak louder than definitions.

        • DavidMHart

          Well, kind of. Atheism is the non-belief in gods, just like avampirism is the non-belief in vampires, afairyism is the non-belief in fairies and anastrology would be the non-belief in the claims of astrology.

          Thing is, the people who believe in astrology, fairies and vampires are such a negligible force in society that they are not distorting public policy, harming the teaching of education, passing legislation restricting the rights of people who disagree with them, all of which are being done rather vigorously by people who believe in one or more gods.

          So yes, in reality atheists tend to be prominent among the people fighting against harms caused by theism, because they tend to be the people best place to even recognise them as harms, and therefore most motivated to fight back. If people who believed in vampires, fairies or astrology were collaborating to cause or perpetuate comparable harms to those harms inflicted in the cause of relationships, most atheists would be fighting those beliefs too.

          But as a philosophical position per se, atheism is a non-belief in a particular set of factual claims, just like avampirism etc.

          • Dave G.

            Your approach to atheism is similar to a fundamentalist’s approach to his or her religion. Which is ironic and odd at the same time. But you’re wrong, of course, about the non-belief idea. Atheists say that, and it’s good for a chuckle. But atheists believe many things upon which their belief that there is no divine or supernatural or afterlife is based. And those are beliefs, not un-beliefs.

            • DavidMHart

              “Your approach to atheism is similar to a fundamentalist’s approach to his or her religion.”

              Please explain how – I don’t understand what you mean.

              And would you say that my non-belief in vampires is also similar to a fundamentalist? If not, how is my non-belief in gods different from my non-belief in vampires?

              “But atheists believe many things upon which their belief that there is no divine or supernatural or afterlife is based.”

              Well, I guess we tend to believe that in order to justify believing something, one ought to have good reasons to think that it is true – but the lack of belief in gods is still not a faith-based position (which is what I think you’re trying to imply) – it’s simply a negative conclusion based on the best available evidence.

              • Dave G.

                The assumption is that atheism is right. True. Fact. Therefore, any questioning of it at all is by default wrong, stupid, evil. They have no right to influence anything because they’re wrong, unlike me. I mean, stand your ground all you want, but don’t assume all who disagree are part of the ‘they’re tunneling under our homes!’ coalition. That’s a common trait in fundamentalist circles (they’re doing bad by virtue of not doing what I want since I’m right and they’re wrong). .

                And as for the reasoning, of course that’s how atheists see it (agnostics, too). It’s an unverifiable faith claim that a god or gods would be subject to your reasoning in the first place. Perhaps by their very nature they would be outside such reasoning. When atheists say that this or that is needed to accept the existence of the divine, they are making a faith claim every bit as subjective as a King James only Baptist preacher. It’s not a negative conclusion. It’s a conclusion based on a preset series of subjective assumptions and beliefs. As a former agnostic, I came to understand that all too well. Hence ‘former’ agnostic.

                • DavidMHart

                  “The assumption is that atheism is right. True. Fact. Therefore, any
                  questioning of it at all is by default wrong, stupid, evil.”

                  Well, as I said, the conclusion that no gods exist is not just an assumption on our part; it’s a conclusion that we think is correct on the strength of the best available evidence. Do you see why this is different?

                  And if you think a conclusion is correct, then you simply have to think that the negation of that conclusion is incorrect – if you are to have any idea what truth and falsehood mean. It is not fundamentalist to believe that if not-X is true, X must be false. But it does not follow that we think the people who believe X is true are necessarily stupid and evil – just mistaken.

                  On the other hand, some supporters of religion are on the side of stupidity – Ken Ham being a prime example, since he devotes his entire life’s work to the effort to prevent children learning the real scientific discoveries we have made about the world. And some supporters of religion are evil in rather obvious ways that I’m sure you don’t need me to list. But calling out genuinely stupid or evil people for being stupid or evil is again not fundamentalist.

                  “It’s an unverifiable faith claim that a god or gods would be subject to
                  your reasoning in the first place. Perhaps by their very nature they
                  would be outside such reasoning.”

                  Well of course, if you define your supernatural beings in such a way that no possible evidence could be produced for or against their existence, then that’s true.

                  But here’s the thing: if something is indistinguishable from the imaginary then we have absolutely no reason at all to think that it is real. If your god, or your vampire or fairy, cannot be detected by any conceivable test; does not interact with reality in any tangible way, then what possible basis can you have for thinking that it exists? The most parsimonious conclusion is always that such things are imaginary unless and until good reasons can be produced for thinking they are not imaginary.

                  [edit - I can't figure out how to make it not put a big square box up when I link to the video. Has someone changed the Disqus settings?]

                • Dave G.

                  I grew up watching Carl Sagon on PBS! I came to realize that as a philosopher and a biblical exegete, he made a great scientist. As for saying ‘since we believe X is true, naturally we should act on it’, well yeah. But then others should also do so. We can either say ‘all who believe their X is true should obviously act on it, which is no different than us acting on it’, or ‘since we all believe but don’t know, let’s hold back.’ It’s when we say ‘well obviously X is true, duh, that’s why these standards only apply to everyone else who are wrong or stupid.’ that we start down the fundamentalist slide. I spent too many years around fundamentalists to miss that trend.

                  As for some supporters of religion being on the side of stupidity, you’re preaching to the choir there. But the same is true for atheists just the same. Appealing to the dumb factor is a sure fire way to shoot yourself in the foot, since anything and everything has its share of the idiocy.

                  But the point of the faith of atheism is that for atheists to reach their conclusions, they already need several layers of faith claims and beliefs in the first place. That’s why it’s usually an exercise in futility when an atheist says ‘prove god’, because chances are any proof will be dismissed since the atheist has already concluded based on these lairs of beliefs that since there is no god, the proof must have an alternate explanation (even if there is no alternate explanation).

                  FWIW, that realization changed me forever, and it was a life experience that drove the point home: that atheism is simply an alternate belief about religion, often times with no more or less evidence than any one of a million religious faith claims. Growing up, I assumed religion was against the wall and atheism, or at least non-religion, had the cards. Realizing how utterly subjective and faith filled all such claims were was like seeing an optical illusion one way and never being able to see it the other way again.

                • Dave G.

                  BTW, that’s Carl Sagan, not Sagon. :)

                • allein

                  What exactly is anyone “acting on” for atheism? Other than living my life without considering what a god might want me to do, I’m not doing anything in service of my atheism. If I choose to, say, protest against a state/church violation, I’m acting on the belief that other people don’t have the right to require me (and by extension, anyone else) to live by the rules of a religion I don’t practice, which is something anyone of any religion should be able to agree with (at least when they are on the “wrong” side of the violation). If I were to join this demonstration, I would be acting on the belief that all kids deserve a decent education, which I would still believe even if I were still involved in the religion I was raised with. I wouldn’t be acting on being an atheist.

                  I don’t go around saying “I’m an atheist and that is why I believe what I do about XYZ issue.” My being an atheist is really immaterial.

                • DavidMHart

                  “atheism is simply an alternate belief about religion, often times with
                  no more or less evidence than any one of a million religious faith
                  claims.”

                  Well, okay. But when presented with a set of alternate beliefs that exhaust all the possibilities, at least one them has to be correct, and there is no reason to assume in principle that we can’t even try to get a handle on figuring out which one it is most likely to be.

                  I think that to cut through the fog, I should ask you a question with a straightforward numerical answer:

                  What do you believe, on present evidence, is the most likely number of gods that exist?

                  A) Zero

                  B) One or more

                  C) Exactly 50/50 chance of the number being zero and being greater than zero

                  If you answered A), then you are an atheist yourself, albeit at the very shallow end. If you answer B) then you must surely appreciate that you must have some evidence that makes you think it more likely than not that a god or gods exist, and that if you are interpreting it reasonably, then this evidence ought to be sufficient to persuade other reasonable people as well.

                  And if you answer C, then all I can do is award you the XKCD prize for asserting superiority :-)

                • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

                  But the point of the faith of atheism is that for atheists to reach their conclusions, they already need several layers of faith claims and beliefs in the first place

                  False.

                  First Atheism can not be assigned a value of truth or falsehood. Atheist are claiming there is insufficient evidence to prove the theist’s claim of sufficiency. Providing more evidence beyond mere conjecture would refute our claim of insufficient evidence. Atheism holds a neutral position between states of truth and states that are false. When I look into my coffee cup and see that there is nothing in it, there is no requirement for me to understand what “nothing” is but coffee is a substance that can be verified by my senses and justified by supporting beliefs based upon tried and true repeatable experiences. But yet this still does not prove that the substance I am assuming is coffee, the hot tasty fluid in my cup, is actually coffee, since it is possible for my senses to lie to me. Sense experience is not a requirement for something to be theoretically possible, it is only one set of tools in a vast array of tools used by my mind to verify my current state of reality. I will continue to assume that the fluid in my cup is coffee, I will also assume that when I put water in my coffee maker and let it brew through the ground up coffee beans, that it is in fact making coffee, I will continue to assume all these factors are valid until someone comes along with sufficient evidence proving I have been making and drinking tea all this time.

                  Secondly Atheist do not believe, in the lack of evidence, since well that would be pretty stupid, but we are skeptical of the the theist’s claims of satisfactory evidence.

                  One can simply refute a claim, without knowing the reason why. Refuting a claim does not require a person to believe that their refutation is either true or false. Even if there is substantial evidence supporting the claim, an individual still has no obligation to believe it. Presupposing knowledge of a claim prior to the person refuting the claim is purely christian mumbo jumbo which would be like equating that atheism was the philosophical position of humans prior to written history. We know this to be false since evidence proves to us that animism was the dominant “religion” far longer than theism.

                  When atheists say that this or that is needed to accept the existence of the divine, they are making a faith claim every bit as subjective as a
                  King James only Baptist preacher. It’s not a negative conclusion. It’s a conclusion based on a preset series of subjective assumptions and beliefs.

                  more presuppositionalist mumbo jumbo

                  First Atheists don’t claim that evidence is required for them to disbelieve. They are making the claim that testable evidence needs to be presented before they might believe. No theist in history has yet provided testable evidence to the scientific community to substantiate the theist’s claims. The sciences have show us with substantial evidence that had a person assumed that deities did not exist prior to pre written history then they would be correct in their assumption. The sciences, i.e. anthropology, sociology etc, have also provided us with sufficient evidence that a person could make a satisfactory assumption that humans did not believe in deities prior to pre written history. At least mythical deities like Thor, Zuul, Yaweh, etc. In other words there is no requirement of a priori knowledge for someone to base their disbelief in something, that was never real in the first place. As much as the theists wish to believe that a priori knowledge is a requirement to disbelieve, epistemology just doesn’t support their wishes.

                  As I pointed out earlier there are no requirements to refute a claim. One can simply do so with out knowing why. One does not need to produce evidence to refute a claim because the burden of proof lies with the claimant. “Lies” being the key word here. I don’t have to prove I am wrong and I certainly don’t have to prove you are wrong, you just have to prove you are right.

                  The biggest blunder most theists make is accepting states that are theoretical as facts. Accepting epistemology as a fact being one of their biggest blunders.

                • Artor

                  “Fortunately the sciences of anthropology, archaeology and similar institutions have proven with out a shadow of doubt that atheism or to be more precise the lack of belief in gods was the default philosophic state of humanity prior to written human history.”

                  While I agree with your overall point, I don’t believe the quoted passage is correct. Much of the prehistoric archaeology I have seen does seem to indicate a belief in an afterworld, as evidenced by burial practices, devotional carvings, etc. I don’t know of any anthropologists who conclude that prehistoric man was essentially atheist. I could be wrong, but I’d be very interested in seeing any research that supports your statement.

                • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

                  Shush!

                • UWIR

                  ” As for saying ‘since we believe X is true, naturally we should act on it’, well yeah. But then others should also do so. We can either say ‘all who believe their X is true should obviously act on it, which is no different than us acting on it’, or ‘since we all believe but don’t know, let’s hold back.’ It’s when we say ‘well obviously X is true, duh, that’s why these standards only apply to everyone else who are wrong or stupid.’ that we start down the fundamentalist slide. I spent too many years around fundamentalists to miss that trend.”
                  That’s nonsense. There’s nothing “fundamentalist” about saying “People who believe that the races should live in peace at on their beliefs, while people who think that black people are soul-less demons who should be exterminated should not act on their beliefs”.

                • glebealyth

                  That’s why it’s usually an exercise in futility when an atheist says ‘prove god’, because chances are any proof will be dismissed since the atheist has already concluded based on these lairs of beliefs that since there is no god, the proof must have an alternate explanation (even if there is no alternate explanation).

                  FWIW, Dave, I am an agnostic atheist, as many atheists are. I would welcome proof from you, or anyone else, that there is a god, as it would resolve my agnosticism, and I do not like not knowing..

                  Fact is, despite a sojourn of 20+ years as an evangelical christian, no-one has yet managed to produce evidence for me which supports the theistic position which is not circular in nature and does not beg the question by assuming the conclusion before the discussion begins.

                  I do not believe that there is no god, I merely have no evidence to convince me that I should believe there is a god.

                  I do not consider that to be a fundamentalist stance.

                • SeekerLancer

                  It’s not about being right or wrong. It’s about there being at least some standards for education in the United States.

                  Homeschoolers are free to teach their kids creationism. That’s their business. But they shouldn’t be allowed to eliminate science from the curriculum in the process.

                  Ken Ham’s position on science education goes a lot further than simply fudging around evolution and the origin of man. What he advocates is detrimental and has made it extremely difficult for people who homeschool for non-religious reasons to find the resources they need.

                • Artor

                  Okay, let’s try it your way; god is entirely outside the realm of human reasoning. Now, how exactly are you going to convince me he’s real? By what measure am I supposed to believe in this completely irrational (by your own standard) being?

                  You’re not very good at this I’m afraid. I understand why you would fall back on the idea that God is beyond reason, since your reasoning facilities are clearly sub-optimal.

                • glebealyth

                  In other words…

                  If God actis in mysterious ways, how do we know God acts in mysterious ways?

                  No, it is not a flippant question.

                • BlowtorchOfReason

                  How can you be a former agnostic? Did you find proof that there is a god/gods?

            • BlowtorchOfReason

              No, I don’t have a belief that there is no divine or supernatural or afterlife. There is no proof that any of those exist. It is not belief or faith to know that something does not exist when there is no evidence to the contrary. It is faith or belief to think that there is something when there is no evidence showing otherwise. It is rational thought to understand that there is nothing when there is no evidence to show that there is something.

            • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

              But atheists believe many things upon which their belief that there is no divine or supernatural or afterlife is based.

              Really? Please define these things.

            • TommyNIK

              The beliefs of atheists are evidence-based beliefs.

              Theists have no evidence…only faith. Faith is nothing but belief without evidence.

        • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

          They sure do and while we are on the subject of actions and equating actions to fighting could you please cite some resources that you know of where these supposed “acts of fighting” have occurred. Or are you making a generalization, that in your mind fighting is akin to aggressive debating, protesting and demonstrations?

  • Joe Zamecki

    Thanks for posting this, Hemant! :o)

  • Elizabeth

    I hope they plan to do more than just hold signs and chant.

    It would be a far more clever feat to set up a science fair style series of displays with knowledgeable people to talk about what it is exactly they are promoting with guides to reference materials on hand to distribute to others.

    • skinnercitycyclist

      See above: “In addition to the protest, that Answers in Science event at the Houston
      Museum of Natural Science is looking pretty amazing, with panelists
      including blogger/biologist PZ Myers, YouTubers AronRa and Sister Lilandra, and former pastor Mike Aus.”

      Looks like you got your wish…;-)

      • Elizabeth

        It’s good, but not quite what I had in mind. The Homeschooling convention is at the Marriott hotel. The following event, Answers in Science, is being held in a different location — the Houston Museum of Natural Science — and at a different time.

        What I’d envisioned is akin to what you’d see in a school gym with tables set up along the walkway towards the Marriott where the Homeschool convention will be held. Families taking their children to the event sponsored by Ken Ham would be greeted by people standing about with signs and repeating useless rhymes and slogans. Instead they could be treated to well crafted displays showing real science.

        The problem I see about the usual protest group is that these Homeschooler families would view demonstrating atheists not unlike the way we’d view members of the Westboro Baptist Church.

  • http://confessionsfromthepeanutgallery.blogspot.com/ YankeeCynic

    Owing to Mr. Ham’s refusal to debate PZ Myers, Can we get PZ to slowly drive past the conference, leaning out his window and clicking beer bottles together?

    “Keeeeeeeeeen, come out to plaaaaaaaay!”

    • Spuddie

      It works best when you put beer bottles on your fingers.

  • V-Rod

    My wife and I just started homeschooling, and she asked me if we should attend this conference. I explained to her that it’s a Christian homeschooling group that has creationists as speakers. I won’t attend, but at the same time, I won’t protest. It’s the choice of Christians to teach their children their beliefs, no matter how silly we know they are. Their kids can still be very productive members of society, but they probably won’t get into a science career. That’s ok because that’s where our kids can fill the gap.
    I think boycotting this convention on the grounds of church/state separation is a stretch and I don’t believe it’s worth the negative publicity that atheists will receive.

    • skinnercitycyclist

      V-Rod, it’s worth boycotting (protesting, really) because it is BULLSHIT. I do not want to live in a society where such flagrant ignorance goes ignored and unchecked. People with stupid ideas concerning science (and many other aspects of life) still get to vote, and I would rather try to educate them rather than have them an ignorant critical mass in our electorate. Education is good, ignorance is bad.

      • ZeldasCrown

        Not only does the general population vote, but there are politicians who think this way as well. Politicians with the ability to effect science funding/policies (I read a news article say 8-10 months ago about a member of the Science Committee disbelieving evolution in favor of intelligent design or creationism). People who are in a position to cripple scientific research. That is why it is important to be vigilant about leaving science in science class, and religion in bible study.

        • allein

          Paul Broun? He made here to FA, too. Frightening.

    • Spuddie

      The church/state separation thing is hardly a stretch since they are seeking a mandate from the state and in some cases looking for the state to subsidize their creative dishonesty.

  • BlowtorchOfReason

    If Ken Ham is promoting something, it is a sham. There needs to be a Surgeon General’s announcement tattooed on Ken Ham’s forehead “Surgeon General’s Warning: Anything coming out of Ken Ham’s mouth is a scam and should be taken only under extreme guidance by anyone else with a functioning brain”

    • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

      When ever we refer to this backwards thinking dude we should call him Ken Sham-wow or Ken Scam.

      • C.L. Honeycutt

        Hey now, that isn’t called for. Headset Vince might have dumped all his reputation and money into a movie so bad he couldn’t even complete it, and then later beaten up a hooker, but that still makes him eleventy times more sensible and moral than Ken Ham.

        Besides, Ken Ham’s nickname has to do with piglets. You can look it up.

        Also: http://au.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20130603075820AAw3FeS

        • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

          fair enough

  • http://an-expatriate-in-cambridge.blogspot.com The Expatriate

    I have to admit, the people protesting seriously need to get a life. If these fools want to teach children their particular line of bull, so be it. So long as they keep it at home and out of the public schools, that’s their right.

    • TCC

      Or those people see this kind of miseducation as a harm worth fighting against in its own right.

      • http://an-expatriate-in-cambridge.blogspot.com The Expatriate

        If it’s not your child, it’s none of your business.

        By your logic, theists should be protesting Camp Inquiry and similar groups because they would consider it “miseducation” to send children there.

        • 3lemenope

          If it’s not your child, it’s none of your business.

          Do I have to share the world with that child? Will that child grow up to be an adult that exercises the vote franchise and participates in policy-making?

          Of course it’s my business. It’s everyone’s business. What it isn’t is an invitation to interfere with force. See the difference? I can’t and shouldn’t be able to stop a parent from teaching their child whatever they want, nor should I be able to bend the state to bring force to bear to accomplish such an interference. But if that parent proudly brags about teaching their kids lies and rot, I can and ought to call out their approach as foolish and their actions as harmful.

          People do things. Other people complain about them. The world goes round.

          • http://an-expatriate-in-cambridge.blogspot.com The Expatriate

            And that parent would have every right to tell you where to shove your opinion. I would certainly do so to anyone telling me how to raise my kid.

            • 3lemenope

              Of course. Why wouldn’t they? Why wouldn’t you?

        • TCC

          3lemenope pretty much nailed it, in my opinion, but I reject outright the notion that children are the responsibility of only their parents. (I should; I’m a teacher. You better believe that I tell kids – some my students, some not – when they believe demonstrably false things.) Society does not benefit from children being told lies.

    • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

      I’m confused. Are you saying the people protesting, “the atheist’s” or are you saying the people being protested against, the “home school” supporters? I doubt many of the protesters, atheists, home school their children and if they do they probably teach them classical studies i.e. math, science, critical reading etc. Or are you usurping the “secular” nature of public schools by implying that public education is in fact a christian institution? If that is the case you are sorely misinformed. Public education is secular.

  • jcdenton40

    Thanks for posting this, Hemant, and thanks to everyone for the support!

    Just to clarify one point though, in response to several of the comments: We’re trying to make very clear that this as a “demonstration” and not a “protest”. While that distinction may be lost on Ken Ham (who has already already pre-emptively accused us of being angry, hateful atheists trying to deny them of their religious freedoms), we want to make clear that we’re not trying to shut Ken Ham down, we’re not trying to deny anyone the right to go hear him speak, and we’re not going to be “promoting atheism” or attacking Christianity during the demonstration in any way.

    Instead, we’re going to be out there (on public property) using our own freedom of speech to point out where Ken Ham is wrong and how he’s blatantly deceiving children, and to encourage people to simply think for themselves and do their own research into what the science really says.

    With that said, if anyone in the area would like to participate, please join us! Simply RSVP through the meetup event page, or you can send us an email at houstonatheistsassociation at gmail dot com

  • Drew2u

    While trying to find things about evolution for my pokemon blog (seriously), I came across this gem: it’s worth a hilarious read if you want a migraine of stupid proportions.

    http://god-and-logic.blogspot.com/2011/04/spinning-ancient-webs-of-deceit-or.html

    • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

      More misunderstandings of the word theory and de-evolution, which is now widely accepted. Ironically these wack jobs never grasp that developing their own theories requires Darwinian principles. They have to believe that Darwin was correct before they can disprove his theory.

  • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

    Sarcasm, a biological result that builds up over time while reading the nonsense of young earth creationists, resulting in a outburst of convulsive laughter and appropriate expletives. This phenomena can sometimes be accompanied by noodily appendages extending outwards from a persons nostrils. Further proving that GSM exists.

  • UWIR

    What’s the strategy for the demonstration? They’re going to have to tread carefully, since the parents are free to brainwash the kids. The message is going to have to be carefully constructed to get the kids to question whether something is true just because their parents say so, rather than play into their parents’ narrative of persecution and suppression of “the truth”.

    I really don’t think this should be legal. I’m not saying that parents shouldn’t be allowed to teach their kids creationism, but they shouldn’t be allowed to censor all opposing views. I think that every child, even if they are homseshooling or going to a private school, should be required to spend some time, say 40 hours a year, getting a public education.

  • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

    “I would defend the liberty of consenting adult creationists to practice whatever intellectual perversions they like in the privacy of their own homes; but it is also necessary to protect the young and innocent.” Arthur C. Clarke

  • jcdenton40

    Here’s a sampling of what we’ll have on hand at the demonstration!

    http://www.jcdenton40.com/signs.jpg

  • SMS Vazquez

    Is this the way we are going to eradicate religion or is this the way we are going to show theists that we are no different than they are?
    I can’t decide if I think this is great or not.

  • jcdenton40

    Apparently one of the speakers at the home school convention is trying to convince the Houston Museum of Natural Science to shut down the Answers in Science event. Or perhaps I should say “tried”, since the museum already rejected his plea, in the comments to his own post:

    http://drshormann.com/2013/07/30/hmns-to-sponsor-religious-intolerance-bigotry/

    • jcdenton40

      BTW, among the many layers of irony in that post is that throughout Houston Atheists’ planning of the demonstration and the Answers in Science event, we decided that we certainly did NOT want to try to shut Ken Ham down, or get the home schooling convention to cancel his appearance, or try to convince their sponsors to pull out, etc.

      We’ve made that quite clear from pretty much the very beginning, and it certainly never even crossed our minds to contact the Marriott hotel to try and pressure them into getting them involved.

      Of course this guy clearly has no reservations with doing so… while at the same time accusing us of “intolerance”.

  • jcdenton40

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