More Nonsense from Ken Ham

They certainly do. But my point is that a bus load of kids from a public school is very very different from a fundamentalist mom and dad taking the kids to the Ark Park on vacation. Kids love to feed off of each other and “compete” in being the most cynical. (Even as a youth pastor long ago I saw that everything was completely different when the kids outnumbered the adults and the parents weren’t close by.)

A bus load of kids would have an absolute hoot laughing at the silly video that runs in a loop at the entrance. And if the wait is long and that video repeats while bored kids are still watching, the cynicism goes into overdrive.

Indeed, the more I think about it, I almost wish every public school science club could visit the Ark Park. The educational value of critiquing each exhibit and figuring out how many basic science facts are being violated by each would make for a fun outing. And imagine what the students would say when they see the venom expressed against evolution—and then they see that Ken Ham promotes a 200 year period of hyper-evolution after the flood! The hypocrisy and contradiction is startling!

What amazes me most at the Creation Museum is how even several years after opening, there were still many major bloopers in the exhibit signs. (I don’t know if they have been fixed since I last checked about four years ago.) Some of the Hebrew misspellings were downright amateurish—and surely every seminary trained pastor complains about it to the docents. And they even have an exhibit promoting an argument which AIG’s website lists in its “arguments Christians should not use.”

We should be not too many years away from a rash of blogs by ex-YEC young adults who will tell how their trip to the AIG parks marked the beginning of their exit. Even if they don’t feel embarrassment when they first visited the C.M. or the Ark Park, a few years later it ought to start sinking in. Millennials are very cynical people—and I think the generations to follow will be similar.

I am certain that the video-loop at the entrance to the Ark and the giants vs. dinosaur gladiator games diorama will be cited as the beginning of the end of their belief in YECism.

Frankly, if that diorama showed humans fighting dinosaurs, I would have yawned—because it is entirely within the realm of the mind of Ham. But adding GIANTS to the fight roster really put it over the top for me. (I almost would expect Ken Ham to claim that Tubal-Cain used his metal working skills to make armor for the gladiators fighting against the sharp-horned triceratops.)

Ya know, I would love to see some sort of psychological study of the types of people who visit the Ark Encounter and how their minds process the bizarre claims. Yes, most YECs will accept everything uncritically. Their critical faculties will simply shut down. But even among fundamentalists, I know from my years preaching in such churches (and from my close friends in the fundamentalist world) that many are very smart people who won’t tolerate the “Ham-isms”, that is, my term for Ham going way beyond the Bible into the bizarre. They may remain silent while on the grounds—but on the drive home they are going to think about and talk about a lot of things which don’t make sense. (In fact, most of them are far more comfortable with MIRACLE SOLUTIONS than they are with “Flintstone-tech” solutions.)

Examples:

I can’t imagine people being unsurprised by the lack of efficient storage. (Big jars on shelves doesn’t make any sense). Lack of large scale food and water storage exhibits stands out.

No calculations demonstrating feasibility.

I’m almost surprised that Ken Ham hasn’t invented magical “Ark pellets”, some sort of “universal kibble” that ALL the animals on the ark could eat for the entire flood year. In that way, large vats and conveyor belts powered in a Flintstone-manner could feed the animals a single food.

In fact, I’m amazed that Ham doesn’t say that pre-flood technology produced metal pipes (or even PVC) to make watering the animals as simple as turning faucets or even using auto-valves! (Think hamster bottles connected by pipes.)

And why not have grated floors with conveyor belts underneath?

I’m even surprised that Ham doesn’t claim that God gave Noah some recipe for an antifungal spray and antibiotic which prevents epidemics breaking out. (Frankly, rampant molds and disease would be the biggest threat to ark life.) But most YECs would simply rely on “God’s protection”. Some might even say that God didn’t allow diseases to come aboard the ark—because they were being judged in the flood.

Perhaps Ham considered making everything higher-tech (fitting what he has always said existed whenever he needed advanced technology to solve an ark construction problem)—but he knew that that would ruin the traditional Sunday School imagery. Yes, even though he has an entire exhibit hall devoted to “silly Sunday School depictions”, he doesn’t really depart all that far from tradition—except where he fabricates his imaginary baramin pairs.

Does anybody know if the docents at the Ark Park solve hard questions by saying “God provided miracles to make the ark happen and succeed in its purpose.”? Or do they still not have many docents per se?

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We had a couple from our Sunday School class go, and when somebody asked them how it was, they replied, “It’s big!!” I think that was about all they would say, not wanting to be negative.

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You say things that make sense, but you should never underestimate the power of self-delusion in humans. There is a model greenhouse on the ark. Yes, a greenhouse. Not even on the upper deck. And all the humans were vegetarians.

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Still vegetarian at the time of Flood? I thought they started eating meat after the Fall. :hamburger:

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Here’s another Ark Encounter tour with pictures and video. Most interesting. How ironic that Ham would put criticize “fairy tale” arks. It’s his ark we are supposed to believe in. (Even if it doesn’t float.)

Isn’t it weird? They can’t even fish from the ark, even though there would be a proliferation of sharks eating all the bloated, decaying bodies floating around. On the other hand, nobody would have much of an appetite, being bottled up with all that dung, urine and vomit.

I recall a complaint about that on the Ark Encounter Facebook page—or rather a complaint implying that a relatively small “skylight” in the ark didn’t let in enough light to grow many plants. Somebody replied that there was many plants that can grow in the shade. (True, but I don’t recall many of those shade-lovers which produce lots of high nutrient foods.) But the general attitude of AIG fans is that everything can be solved by God intervening with miracles. And in some ways, that is the most logical solution for them. After all, if somebody casually accepts all of the major claims of the Ark Encounter, everything else is just a minor detail. Not enough food storage capacity? No problem: God put all of the animals into hibernation? Still not enough food? No problem: God fed the widow and her son out of a bottomless flower barrel and oil bottle. Too much manure and urine production on the ark? No problem: God miraculously emptied their colons hour by hour.

In fact, it would make more sense if Ken Ham just threw away all pretense of “science” and explanation and simply resorted to “God can do anything!”

I assume most Young Earth Creationists still make the flood the dividing line for meat-eating because that was the predominant view in the 1960’s after THE GENESIS FLOOD (1962, Henry Morris & John Whitcomb Jr.) But I can’t speak for YEC views today, I suppose.

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Not to mention that you need special potting soil (not regular dirt) to grow plants in containers. Perhaps God miraculously provided it.

Of course, it is fascinating to watch how people on the AIG pages react when some “trouble-maker” brings up such “details”. Was it grog on these threads who said that he had the LUXURY of being ignorant of various “details” of science. That seems to be a common attitude in the AIG community. Lacking knowledge is seen as lacking “worldliness” and “man’s fallible wisdom”.

If you were to post an observation about hydroponics and how it works in growing food indoors, you might even get a bizarre reply like I often get—where one strains to see the connection and how they got there. Like these examples:

“So you are saying that God is a liar and the flood never happened?”

“So you think that random chance produced everything and came about from a time when nothing exploded and produced something which became everything?” (Yes, if you read such sentences a second time to figure out what they are trying to say, it gets more unclear with each reading.)

“So you think God couldn’t keep root-rot off of the ark?” (Yes, I once got a reply that was much like that when noting the disease-prone environment of such a crowded and enclosed space. They wrote something like “The God who healed the sick can certainly keep animals on an ark from catching kennel cough.”)

That’s why I’ve said that I really think AIG should just treat EVERYTHING as a miracle and forget the made-up science entirely. I’d say that the animals walked dutifully to their “storage shelf”, where they crawled into position and went into instant hibernation----or even instant death. Then after the flood year, they were resurrected and walked off the ark. Then there is no water or food that must be stored for them. No waste production. No oxygen issues. No sickness (because they are dead for year.) And no decay because the microbes are “dead” also and will be resurrected later.

My “All miracles, all the time” solution is undeniably fool-proof. (Or foolish. Or whatever else one wishes to call it.)

I could even say that the year of the flood was a kind of “virtual year” and that the moment-by-moment arrow of time was suspended and Noah’s next conscious moment was when he sent a bird to look for land.

Miracles allow me to trump (!!) every problem.

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Except this miraculous account would Contradict The Bible™, for in Gen 6:21, it says, “Also take with you every kind of food that is eaten, and store it up; and it shall serve as food for you and for them.”

No doubt they’d love to calculate only the space for a bunch of hibernating animals, if they could, but nope: as soon as they’ve got the definitive baraminological list of all the animals on the ark, they’re not done: they’ve got to sit down and figure out how many separate ‘kinds’ of food there are on the earth, and how much space would have had to be allotted to storing it up.

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They would say that the stored food is for when the animals get resurrected. After all, (1) they will be very hungry, and (2) a destroyed earth will need some time to recover from the flood and start producing food again.

Also, you are assuming that such “details” as scripture evidence and scientific evidence matters to them. I’ve often talked myself blue trying to get them to acknowledge the scriptures. Example: When they claim that NO DEATH AT ALL existed prior to the fall, I ask them why there was the Tree of Life’s fruit in the garden. Why would God provide an “antidote” from a “poison” that doesn’t exist? That is, why would they need to eat of the fruit of the Tree of Life if they were not subject to death? Why kick them out of the garden and away from the Tree of Life so that they do not eat of it and live forever?

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The fact that AiG refuses to invoke any miracles for even the simplest of questions speaks volumes about their position. Especially since pre-modern interpreters had no issue with doing this.

This thread and your comments brought to mind this thought recalling the Christian culture of the 1960’s: Christians were concerned about the growing tendency towards “Situation Ethics”. As America headed into the sexual revolution and the rebellions against authority which came with the Vietnam draft and high school dress codes concerning long hair and blue jeans, it seemed that everything was up for grabs.

Situation Ethics was a debate about the loss of moral absolutes. The idea of absolute rights and wrongs were giving way to “moral dilemma” scenarios. You’d see discussions of “the no good choices” and how does one choose when all of the choices have bad results?

The first one which comes to mind is “The Nazis Searching the House.” A hidden closet is filled with Jews and many others subject to arrest and deportation to death camps. A young mother is holding a hungry baby who starts to cry. If the baby is allowed to cry, everyone will die. Should the mother strangle the baby so that there is just one death instead of a dozen deaths? Surely the choice involving fewer deaths is the good choice.

I remember preachers in those days—in church pulpits and radio programs—responding with “Some choices are right choices. Some choices are wrong choices. Absolutes matter. This society is headed towards moral relativism where we are repeating the circumstances in ancient Israel: Every man did that which was right in his own eyes.”

Of course, the loss of absolutes is still much discussed in our day. We often hear that the ultimate guide to personal choice is “Be true to yourself.” (I still have no idea what that really means. It doesn’t sound too much different from the 1960’s “If it feels good, do it!” and “Your guess is as good as mine.”) There’s also the proud self-description of "I’m spiritual, but not religious. (That too confuses me.)

Yet, oddly enough, many Christians today have brought a new kind of relativism and loss of absolutes. It is the loss of factual truths. In a science class, most of us understand that some answers on a science exam are correct and some answers are just plain wrong. Yet, it seems that if the topic is origins-related or climate-science related, it is simply a matter of personal opinion. Ken Ham tells us that evidence doesn’t determine much of anything—because one’s worldview determines how the evidence is “interpreted” and therefore science is just another set of religion beliefs. So the Young Earth Creationist movement has played a huge role in replacing a set of absolutes (the idea that evidence matters and that the methodologies of the Scientific Method are our best route to explaining the evidence) with a confused relativism where science is just another set of religious beliefs governed by personal bias driving all interpretations of the evidence.

Along with this comes the type of reasoning where it doesn’t matter if there are dozens of lines of evidence for a very old earth. All it takes is just ONE possibly contradictory phenomenon or anamolous piece of evidence to lead one to totally disregards literally thoughts of items of evidence. For example, one can just claim that “Polonium halos in granite disprove billions of years.” All other evidence can be ignored. Centuries of scientific discovery can be dismissed with just one obscure argument. (The fact that it has totally failed in peer-review doesn’t matter.) This is another case of relativism gone crazy. The “absolute” which ruled even popular notions of common sense for many centuries—that piles of mountainous evidence outweigh one minor anamoly—is casually abandoned.

The Kruger-Dunning Effect doesn’t just describe human behavior. It explains entire political movements. It is becoming the first thing many non-Christians think about when they see a news story involving Christians. (And that news story often relates to climate-science or Young Earth Creationism.)

I remember when an elementary school science test from a Christian private school went viral online. Many people laughed and assumed that the Young Earth Creationist answers to the bizarre test were meant to parody the teachings of people like Ken Ham. Yet the science test proved to be an actual Christian private school classroom exercise. Ham posted on his many webpages a proud defense of every answer written in a child’s scrawl on that test paper. The absolutes of a science education—where some answers fit the evidence and some answer do not—had been replaced by a relativism which had nothing to do with science.

So when a politician said in a recent TV interview that he felt it his duty to stand up and oppose climate scientists who would otherwise “rule as if their opinion was more important than everybody else’s”, I couldn’t help but consider how many millions of Christians have brought about the rejection of the “absolutes” which say that evidence matters and that some “opinions” should carry more weight than others because they aren’t mere “personal bias” and “worldview.”

I wish I could go back in time and warn those preachers that the wave of “relativism” which would sweep America included a kind of relativism coming from many Christians which would help to undercut the credibility of the Bible and create enormous stumbling blocks to the Gospel itself.

We have met the enemy and it is us.

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@BradKramer if you still do “Dispatches from the Forum,” I nominate this post.

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There are problems at every turn!
Most animals cannot hibernate. A horse cannot lie down for more than several days. And its hooves would develop fungal infections from standing in a wet stall. The forage for the grazing animals would get moldy. A hippo has to stand mostly on mud to have healthy feet. And what about hyenas–how did Noah know this fascinating fact?. (How’s that for intelligent design?)

After the family members leave the ark they have to carry farming implements down the mountain. But their seed didn’t stay dry and nothing will grow in saline muck anyway. So there is no food for herbivores.

Ham is crafty. He’s hired credentialed zoo-keepers for his petting zoo.

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Agree, Great post.

Ham also knew (and government regulators made certain) that no animals would be kept inside the ark itself. It would be a huge danger to the public health and to the health of the animals. Ham is smart enough to NEVER give the public any calculations of the essential logistics of making the ark a habitable vessel. No calculations of ventilation/air-flow. No calculations of urine and solid waste disposal. No calculations of mold levels. And certainly no calculations of food and fresh water requirements.

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Not to mention this little problem: how could a handful of people scamper down the mountain with their farming implements and grow crops in saline muck?

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A blog post by BioLogos contributor James Kidder (Jimpithecus) explains how “the county that gave tax incentives for the building and marketing of the Ark Encounter is going broke.”

Read The Law of Unintended Consequences Strikes Again.

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Oh my, that is telling. What a waste.

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“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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