We here at the seminary have enjoyed kicking Ken Ham and his ridiculous ideas about science around. Today, I came across a twelve year old post from his organization of dipshits, Answers In Genesis. Poke around, they’re hilarious if you have a smattering of understanding evolution and the scientific method.
The post is titled, “Do Creationists Reject Science?” The answer, of course, is yes. They don’t expect their ignorant readers to know any better, though.
Let’s take this baby paragraph by paragraph. I may ignore one or two if they bore me.
“Anyone familiar with the creation/evolution debate should know that anti-creationists love to lob the accusation that creationists are “anti-science” or that they “reject science.” Evolutionists frequently label creationists “flat-earthers” and even go as far as suggesting that consistent creationists should deny the law of gravity!”
There is no such thing as an “evolutionist”. It is a scientific theory that is 100% accepted by scientists who study the natural world. The dichotomy is clear: you either believe the bullshit in the Bible, or you believe in what science has proven to be true, which makes you a scientist. Our early writers of the creation hadn’t a clue about what was above or below them. It’s really not much of a stretch between them and flat-earthers of today.
Much of the problem stems from the different starting points of biblical creationists and Darwinists. Everyone, scientist or not, must start their quests for knowledge with some unprovable axiom—some a priori belief on which they sort through experience and deduce other truths. This starting point, whatever it is, can only be accepted by faith; eventually, in each belief system, there must be some unprovable, presupposed foundation for reasoning (since an infinite regression is impossible).
What the fuck is a Darwinist? Again, this is ridiculous terminology, science isn’t arguing his theories anymore. These idiots can’t even get the idea of a hypothesis correct. You begin not with something unprovable- why the fuck would you bother doing an experiment if your conclusion would never waver from the hypothesis? You begin with something falsifiable-something that is subject to disproof, but could, through the rest of the steps in the scientific method, be shown to be true, or come to a conclusion that requires more hypotheses. That is how it is done. This has nothing to do with faith. If we are simply talking about cosmology and physics, then we must work backwards through the evidence to get the clearest possible picture of what is happening in the universe and what has happened. We’ve gotten so good that we know what happened a ten thousandth of a second before the creation of the universe. And we’re not guessing at that point-we’re observing and using theories of energy and matter distribution that prove to be correct every time. Some of us are answering the question of how what seems like nothing became something. We’re doing exciting work, exciting thinking-not this boring-ass Biblical shit whose writers were consumed by superstition 2000 years ago.
You can’t ask a question, fail to get your answer, and just go “God must have done it. It says so right here in this Bible”. It’s a particular Christian prejudice they will never unlearn. God exists because the Bible says so, and the bible is the word of God.
Holy fucking circular logic.
But they do it anyway:
For Bible-believing Christians, God’s Word is our starting point: our presupposed foundation through which we interpret and balance fallen man’s ideas, including those derived scientifically. Although some may consider this a foolish faith, everyone has such faith in something. But which is foolish: faith in the unmovable Word of the omniscient creator God or faith in man’s fallible, changing ideas?
A-ha. You motherfuckers ARE anti-science, because our fallible changing ideas are what help us move on to more advanced experiments. When we developed things like lenses, the whole world was new. Nothing was as it seemed, small or large. You couldn’t ignore the previous fallibility if you tried. It’s the nature of science to keep questioning and looking, unless you are up against something like evolution, which has been impossible to disprove. Evidence piles up for it constantly, through the fossil record, through direct observation of organisms, and our ability to look at the genomes of any creature we wish. That is why it has special status as a theory, like relativity, like gravity. It remains the same no matter how many whacks you take at it (this is not totally true for some of these but for simplicity’s sake let’s leave it alone).
Also causing confusion is the simple distinction some try to make between “faith” and “science.” Answers in Genesis believes this dichotomy is in error, because some form of faith (in a religion) is required to believe in creation or evolution. Both creation and evolution make claims about an unrepeatable past that was not observed by humans. Thus both creation and evolution fall under the category of historical science.
The old “you weren’t there, so how could you know” argument. Well, that pretty much kills both science and religion, doesn’t it? Only belief in a magic book can get you out of this conundrum. I’ve already addressed the fact that there’s plenty of the observable past inside and outside our bodies.
This author goes on to extol the work of Gregor Mendel, a monk who taught us a lot about breeding and genetics by studying butterflies; and to disparage the work of Darwin, who merely made up a “story” about what he “thought” might be true. Mere “philosophizing”. In the author’s mind, these are different things, and one is of no use. But we do what Darwin did all the damn time in science; we see something interesting, and begin formulating hypotheses and creating ideas. And like it or not, Darwin has been right on the money every time. Indeed, we are all related, from the protozoan to the human. This is a process that has taken billions of years to occur. Religious weirdos always think that evolution must always mean a jump to another rung on the species ladder. No. Things evolve all the time. Every time something reproduces, an evolution can occur. Could be a negative one. There are so many factors that can contribute to an evolutionary change-even mere chance and error. It takes time we often can’t comprehend for life to order itself in a radically different macroevolutionary manner. The similarities between all creatures, though are simply impossible to ignore. But we have to be “special” in the religious mind, so people like Ken Ham won’t really engage Darwin’s actual theories, merely present cartoon versions of it. It’s easier to demolish a strawman than have an actual argument.
They end thusly:
We believe that the evidence, when speaking for itself, attests to the faith required to assemble a viewpoint on origins. When students have access to both sides of the argument, we have no doubt they will see that evolution, like creation, is a position supportable only through faith. When they see that many of the “evidences” for evolution are simply suppositions, they will understand that only God can give an eye-witness account. And, as we know from science, first-hand experience is much more reliable than just-so stories.
Do these people see the things they write? Is there anything more story-like than the creation myth? Talking snakes? Whole people made from ribs? Magic apples? Punishment by a deity just for knowing stuff? Light being created before the sun? The moon as a light source? Flaming swords and angels? And that’s just the first three idiotic chapters of the Bible. But somehow that’s more convincing than what science, always wondering, has shown us how things really are. And it will continue to find itself incorrect and improve upon itself and that is OK.
Uncertainty is what the religious mind cannot handle. We who are done with silly superstitions are fine with the unknown. You can’t know what you can’t know. So it goes.
Ken Ham, the bible brandishing, excitable, man-sized rodent is twittering nervously about shit he doesn’t understand again. Much like Donald Trump, he can’t stand to be alone with his thoughts for long because they make him sad-so he takes to the digital dump and blurts out his righteous, albeit defensive, ruminations.
I get it, Ken. Your non-seaworthy conceit is a flop. I suppose if I wasted 18 million dollars of Kentucky tax money I’d be a little on edge myself. I’d have taken to drinking or worse by now. But not you, Ken. You’re getting out in front of this and preaching the truth! How can I not be convicted when you tweet things like
Evolution is a supposed process involving death, death & more death–death is a necessary part–death for everyone–it’s a religion of death
Wowsers, Ken. I never thought of it that way. I bet no one has-who’d want to? But let me focus you a bit. You’ve got evolution confused with life itself. Evolution is a process of change, not death. Life, necessarily, involves death death death and so forth. It’s rather self evident. Don’t be afraid! That’s not religion. It’s real. What do we do with death? We punch it in its stupid death face. We say what Nietzsche said:“Was that life? Well then, once more!”Now, what else have you got for us?
Atheism is a blind faith that doesn’t explain the evidence and is not confirmed by observational science-it’s the religion of naturalism
Scattering like buckshot tonight, eh, Ken? No problem. I want to call your pronouncements strawmen but let’s keep it real simple since you do. Look, brother, I love you, but crawl up your own ass and die with this “atheism is a faith” garbage. I. Don’t. Have. Any. Belief. In. God. Period. I pretty much lack the faith gene-lord knows I tried to believe for a decade or so. Faith and belief require activity, Ken, a type of activity which I do not pursue. As for the evidence, I’ve seen what passes for evidence from you-you’ve raised scripture-twisting to an art, pulling out bullshit from between every holy word.
Ken, you’ve got me stymied on whether or not I am a “naturalist”. Good thing I am here on a blog where I can take a minute to prepare myself for an accusation. I think I may have read a book or two of its genre. Google:
a philosophical viewpoint according to which everything arises from natural properties and causes, and supernatural or spiritual explanations are excluded or discounted.
Guilty. That’s all I have to go on; that’s about all I know so far. But it begs the question: so fucking what? Once again, am I to be convicted because of my ignorance? Not by you or your kind. Never. People who are certain scare me.
But by now we should all be bedazzled by your logic, and therefore you deliver your coup de grace:
Christianity is a faith that explains the evidence and is confirmed by observational science–it’s the true faith.
And it is here that we find the source of Ken’s loneliness, because there aren’t even very many believers who think that is true. Most Christians are very comfy with compartmentalizing faith and science. Rare is the bird who thinks that bastardized cut and paste book contains all the secrets of the universe. I’ve read it a few times. It really isn’t that good as books go. Shit, Dianetics makes more sense than Christianity if I’m completely honest.
I gotta go, Ken. My religious, naturalistic, death loving life calls. Fuck yourself hard, would you?
Religion, for the most part, is perpetuated by guilt of some sort. You have done wrong and you need redemption. For an atheist, we bear our guilt and make amends to whomever we have harmed. There’s no middle man involved. Atheists ask people for forgiveness, the religious keep apologizing to God.
It is therefore assumed that God has been wicked to us because we have been so wicked to him. The wrath of Jehovah is irrational, just like any god. He destroys at will and blames it on his poor creations, whom if he were real he would make them perfect again, in the garden, blissful and sated.
But instead we are left to fend for ourselves. And so evolved disease, pestilence, war, poverty and a host of other afflictions. Ken Ham, unsurprisingly, believes this. God is still the temper tantrum throwing deity of the Old Testament. He doesn’t even focus on the cleansing blood of Jesus a whole lot. His bag as of late is to try to make Genesis real, somehow. I think he thinks if he can pull that off, the rest of the Bible would be cake to explain. For it is that book that is the linchpin of Christian belief: that people are cursed to be sinners all the days of their lives. It’s the book that practically everyone has read at some time or another, with varying effects upon the reader. You have two choices; get scared, or just ignore this unbelievable, fatuous supernatural jive and live your life as if it were going to end soon, which sadly it will one day.
So anyway, Ken must be some sort of newbie to Twitter. I don’t tweet myself, but from what I understand it’s a gladiator match, a royal rumble of insults and smackdowns. Ken let go a flurry of poopy-pantsed tweets, gathering the attention of many detractors. Ken’s lack of critical thinking should be obvious to everyone. No one who isn’t brainwashed already could say that Ken Ham is a deep thinker. Maybe if you believe in this angry god, you’re much more likely to find logic somewhere in his blithering. But was he drunk when he thundered on Twitter recently? There is no other excuse for waking up the twitterverse with such obvious goading.
Dude, you got your tax exemption for your fantasy park. Shut the fuck up and count your blessings instead of our sins. The internet is not going to be nice. Maybe you get off on that. I don’t know. You are irredeemable, in this life at least.
And fuck you for poisoning the minds of young children before they are able to think for themselves. We eagerly await your atonement for that sin.
That is one thick motherfucker.
Hemant Mehta relates a conversation with a non-believing chaplain about death and the meaning of life:
A few months ago, I had a long conversation with Bart Campolo, a former evangelical Christian and current Humanist chaplain. Our talk was both illuminating and emotional since we spent the bulk of it discussing death.
Campolo is explaining how atheists, too, can find meaning in life. Smith asked: “What spiritual nurturing would someone who doesn’t believe in a spiritual life need?”
If somebody came to the conclusion, as I did a number of years ago, “I think this life is all there is. I think that when I die I’ll be dead,” the most immediate question that came to me was, if this is it, how do you make the most of it? I have this wonderful opportunity to be a sentient human being, to be able to think and feel and understand and fall in love and have relationships. How do you make the most of this life?
Who ends up feeling the most fulfilled?” It’s people that have loving relationships, and who do work that they feel makes the world a better place, and who cultivate a sense of gratitude and a sense of wonder at just the amazingness of being alive and living in this universe with all its beauty and all of its stuff.
Love it. That’s how humanists roll. It is the wonder, the gift, that makes it all worth it.
Ken Ham, however, did not get the point:
Campolo believes that once he dies, and when others (including the people he supposedly helps have a fulfilling life) also die, then that will be the end of them! They won’t even know they ever existed. So for all his fluffy talk about living a full life and falling in love, and so on, ultimately life is all totally pointless! All he is doing is leading others to a purposeless, meaningless life.
Won’t even know that they ever existed? What the hell does that mean? If he means that people are forgotten because they are dead, then there is Ken’s first mistake. It’s called memory, Ken. It’s called a legacy that can last across generations.
A full life is what we all want. And we don’t, as the chaplain said in the article, have to go from thrill to thrill to have a fulfilling life. And nowhere did the chaplain say that falling in love was part of that. But nevermind-what Ken misses, is that there is reason to live. We get the opportunity once to do it-and that is the point. This life can hold purposefulness without having to imagine that God will take you up so that you can kiss his ass for eternity. I don’t know how dumb you can be to not see that we can find fulfillment in the life that we have. Some trash the gift, and leave us early-but being a good person while you are here is what we atheists strive for. I have yet to meet the atheist that doesn’t feel a deep sense of responsibility to do good and to be a force for positivity.
Yes, we will die, and that is the end. But that does not mean that we are born to do just that. There’s a whole array of things we can do in between. And people like Ken Ham are the enemies of true humanity, the dupes who insist that you can only do good if only you would believe what they do. A lot of blood has been shed by promulgating that kind of shit, Ken. Go fuck yourself.
Miley Cyrus is in the news again, sort of. It was only a matter of time before she took her clothes off somewhere. Good for her. Don’t bother me none. The spread, in Paper Magazine (whatever that is) accompanies an interview where Cyrus draws attention to her nonprofit that aids homeless and LGBT kids. She’s having a good time growing up in public; she could have turned out way worse.
But she’s getting negative press. That press is coming from Ken Ham. It seems that he is very sensitive about the story of the Ark. His own Ark is going to be the centerpiece of a new theme park Ham is engineering-if he can still fund it without a religious exemption from taxes, that is. Now I am not sure of the context, but Cyrus had this to say about the story of the Ark:
“That’s [expletive] insane,” she told the magazine. “We’ve outgrown that fairy tale, like we’ve outgrown [expletive] Santa and the tooth fairy.”
She also flipped the bird to prudes in general:
Sexually, Cyrus said she is “down with” anything. She views her sexuality and even her gender identity as fluid. “I am literally open to every single thing that is consenting and doesn’t involve an animal and everyone is of age. Everything that’s legal, I’m down with. Yo, I’m down with any adult—anyone over the age of 18 who is down to love me,” she said. “I don’t relate to being boy or girl, and I don’t have to have my partner relate to boy or girl.”
I guess that was enough to set Ken off. Just wait until you hear some of his logic, it’s priceless:
Question for her: Why not involve an animal? On what basis does she decide that? Besides, if there’s no God and she’s just a result of evolution, then she is merely an animal anyway. And those she interacts with sexually are just animals—so why not any animals? In other words, she has decided to draw a line for some reason—but what reason? It’s actually because in her heart she knows God exists (Romans 1), she knows she is different from the animals as she is made in God’s image (Genesis 1)—and she has a conscience (as seared as it is because of her sinful rebellion) because the law is written on our hearts (Romans 2).
Question for her: Why only those over the age of 18? On what basis did she decide that? If there’s no God, why have any age restriction? On what basis would she argue against pedophilia? Why not do whatever anyone wants to do?
I have a few questions for Ken:
Is God the only thing keeping you from fucking an animal? Is He what stands between you and pederasty?
What animal goes out of its genus to fuck another genus? Do lions have sex with antelopes? (They’re just animals, after all.)
Simpleton. Most people who aren’t Josh Duggar know not to look at a child as a sexual object. And almost all of us have no desire to have sexual relations with “another” animal. It’s basic instinct that tells us that it doesn’t make any sense to do so, although I have seen people try. I can’t unsee that, but I wish I could. Not the point. The point is that children are nonsexual beings and you don’t go trying to make them one. You don’t look at your pet and say, ooh, check out the ass on that dog. They have no sexual characteristics that I and others find remotely appealing. I am stating the obvious, because things like this are lost on people like Ken Ham.
Ken is a master of stupid arguments. But what’s to be expected from a fool who thinks one book is the unassailable Truth? There is no such book. But we are stuck in a society that believes they have found one, and we are fated to share a culture with them.
If they had it their way, Miley and I would be stoned for heresy. Chances are you would be next, gentle reader.