Uncommon Sense

March 23, 2021

Church Research by Ken Ham

Filed under: Culture,Religion — Steve Ruis @ 9:41 am
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If you are unaware of Ken Ham, he is referred to as “ol’ Hambo—the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else” on The Sensuous Curmudgeon website. Ham is the creator of the Answers in Genesis website and much more including the Ark Encounter in Kentucky, with the usual humans riding dinosaurs like horses displays.

In a post on Medium.com I ran across this interesting tidbit referring to Mr. Ham:

“Now, if you were a child who was brought up in Sunday school, chances are you have also rejected much of what they taught you as fanciful at best and outright lies at worse. Research from Ken Ham and Britte Breemer at “Answer in Genesis” reveals that Sunday School essentially achieves the opposite of its stated aims — to produce adult Christians.

“Ham and Breemer surveyed over 1000 young adults who had attended church as children. They divided this sample group into those who regularly attended Sunday School and those who did not. They found that compared to those who did not participate in Sunday School, those who did were:
• more likely not to believe that all the accounts/stories in the Bible are true/accurate
• more likely to doubt the Bible because men wrote it
• more likely to question the Bible because it was not translated correctly
• more likely to view the Church as hypocritical
• much more likely to have become anti-church through the years
• more likely to believe that good people don’t need to go to church
Perhaps Sunday School is not as helpful as many mainline denominations might think. But that’s not all that surprising, really, is it?”
(Source: The Lies They Told Me in Sunday School by Dan Foster on Medium.com)

The content of this excerpt is not all that surprising but what shocked me was that Ken Ham (Ken Ham!) shared this knowledge. Surely this gives ammunition to anti-religionists like me. Fascinating.

July 8, 2019

The Ken Ham Theistic Argument for the Existence of Aliens

Filed under: Philosophy,Reason — Steve Ruis @ 12:20 pm
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This an argument.

1. God is maximally great; there can be no greater deity.
2. God created man on planet Earth.
3. A deity which created man on Earth and aliens on other planets would be a greater deity.
4. Therefore, God created aliens on other planets.

Corollary to the Ken Ham Argument
1. A deity which created six races of aliens would be greater than one which created only five.
2. A deity which created ten races of aliens would be greater than one which created only nine.
3. Therefore, a deity which created n+1 races of aliens would be greater than one which created only n.
3. God is maximally great; there can be no greater deity.
4. Therefore God created alien races on all of the other planets.

But then, I might have missed something, no?

July 13, 2017

Creationists on the Rise!

I have been filling in a few holes in my viewing of late and I decide to give the HBO documentary  “Questioning Darwin (2014?),” another try. I only got a few minutes into the show the first time and this time I must have gotten a whole quarter of the way through. And, truth be told, it seemed fairly even handed. What I was shocked about is the sheer audacity of the cherry-picking of scripture by the Ken Ham crowd (Answers in Genesis, the Creation Museum, et. al.). When faced with the Problem of Evil, Mr. Ham simply shrugs this off because of all of the changes that occurred because of Adam’s “sin.” If it hadn’t been for Adam’s disobedience of God, we would all be living forever in a paradise … according to those given voice in this documentary.

But is this actually what scripture says? And, I do not here from the fact that the creation story in Genesis is actually a fictional tale meant to make spiritual points with Jews. These people believe that Genesis is historical truth, no doubt about it … even though the Jews, who are responsible for the existence of that book, claim otherwise. I am not starting there. I am working from the viewpoint of the people who believe that Genesis is either first- or second-hand knowledge of what really happened.

Let’s start with Adam’s disobedience of God’s instructions. Going against God’s instructions is the definition of Biblical sin. It is the Creationist’s definition of right and wrong, good and evil. But God’s admonition was: “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” Clearly neither Adam, nor Eve, understood the difference between good and evil, having not yet eaten from the tree, so what was the basis for the punishment?

The Creationists in the documentary essentially claimed it was Original Sin, although the idea of Original Sin doesn’t occur in the Bible, having been first alluded to in the second century by Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyon, and expanded in the fourth century by Aurelius Augustinus. But even if it isn’t mentioned, the source of Original Sin is God’s curse. God said that “when you eat from it you will certainly die.” But Adam and Even did not die, instead they were banished and their children were condemned as sinners before they were even born … with no way out from under that sentence for thousands of years. So, who created all of that depravity? Looks like “God did it,” is the answer again.

These Creationists also seem to think that Adam and Eve were immortal and that their sin brought death into the world. That is not backed up by scripture, because unless all of the animals were immortal, too, there had to be death. If they thought that Adam’s and Eve’s sin brought death to immortal humans, then why did God say: “22 … ‘The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.’” and then “23 So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.”

So, the whole point is that God showed no equanimity here. He could have just waved away Adam and Eve into nonexistence and then grabbed some mud to make a new Adam. He could have turned time back before Eve took her bite and strangled that serpent (it was not a snake; it had legs!). He could not have allowed the a serpent access to the Garden until Adam and Eve had had their shakedown experiences. He could have relented, restored them to their pre-bite status and warned them sternly to “Not do that again!” No, he condemns the entire race to depravity, hopelessness, and a Lake of Fire as a retirement home, for ever and ever, amen.

So, the Creationists are saying that the Book of Genesis is the literal truth but they have made up a whole lot of back story that is not in the Bible to support their worldview. In addition they have made up a whole lot of bullstuff about Darwin that conflicts with the historical record. They correctly, though, fully recognize that if Darwin is right, they are wrong. This is the source of their animosity. One commenter stated baldly that if he were not the subject of special creation, then he wouldn’t be “special,” he would be just another animal. He didn’t go on and say “And we all know that isn’t true …” he just left that hanging. Imagine, an argument that God has to exist because … ego gratification!

I just couldn’t finish the documentary because it is just so much bilge. They can indoctrinate their children and preach anti-Darwinism from their pulpits, but in the end God’s Creation will have the last laugh.

 

 

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