The other day I saw a Facebook post which had been “liked” by a friend of mine about how Ken Ham (of Answers in Genesis fame) was lamenting the fact that Bill Nye, the fraudulent “science guy,” has been smack talking him in the media since their infamous recent debate. At first I thought, “Well, there’s a shocker,” and moved on. But then, in a moment of admitted weakness, I returned to leave a comment (which has since been deleted … explanation to follow).
My comment, as best as I can recall, was: “The problem here is that people are left with the impression that the only options they have on this issue are to choose Bill Nye’s vacuous scientism or a Young Earth creationism devoid of supporting evidence. Since both are false, the debate has become polarizing.”
By the way, my claim that “Young Earth creationism is devoid of supporting evidence,” is not just my opinion. It is the admitted position of many of the leading Young Earth scientists themselves, but I digress.
Within a few minutes, Ken Ham himself responded to my comment as follows: “just like choosing to believe in a bodily resurrection [of Jesus] … polarizing.”
Do you see what he did there?
In one snide, snarky line, Ken Ham managed to: 1) illegitimately equate a young universe (for which there is no evidence) with the resurrection of Christ (for which there is plenty of good evidence), 2) construct a false non-sequitur that belief in an old universe is equivalent to denying the bodily resurrection of Jesus, 3) attach that belief to me unjustly, and 4) thereby create a straw man argument against a view that neither I, nor any other believer in an old universe that I know of, holds.
That’s how Ken Ham rolls.
Not one to let such a comment go unexposed for its lack of class and sound reasoning, I responded to point out the unjust and unjustified thinking in Ken Ham’s snide remark by relating the same four observations I just noted and asking: “Either you don’t know this and are therefore guilty of intellectual laziness and a failure to acknowledge and respond to your opponent’s actual position, OR you do know this and are therefore guilty of intellectual dishonesty and bearing false witness against a Christian brother. Which is it?”
Ken Ham’s response was to delete my comments and his own responses to my comments and block me from ever commenting again. Ain’t that special? This, in the midst of what resulted in more than 440 entries of back and forth debate between atheists who mocked his position and allies who praised it.
In other words, you can kiss Ken Ham’s ring, or you can be violently anti-theistic in your opposition, but don’t you dare challenge his views or presuppositions from within a Christian view of the world. That makes you a heretic worthy of expulsion.
That’s how little confidence Ken Ham has in his own ability to defend his position. He’d rather cover it up by making it (or you) just go away.
On the heels of my personal experience, I learned that this type of behavior has apparently come to be a little too common for Mr. Ham. It seems that he is taken with declaring those who disagree with him to be “compromisers of God’s Word” and that he does so with a special sort of nastiness. The upshot of some of this behavior is that Mr. Ham and his organization, Answers in Genesis (AIG), have been dis-invited and banned from future participation in the Great Homeschool Conventions that had welcomed them over the last several years.
From the Great Homeschool Conventions conference organizer Brennan Dean in the email he circulated announcing his dismissal of Ham from their events:
The Board believes that Ken’s public criticism of the convention itself and other speakers at our convention require him to surrender the spiritual privilege of addressing our homeschool audience.
Our expression of sacrifice and extraordinary kindness towards Ken and AIG has been returned to us and our attendees with Ken publicly attacking our conventions and other speakers,” Dean wrote. “Our Board believes Ken’s comments to be unnecessary, ungodly, and mean-spirited statements that are divisive at best and defamatory at worst.”
Well, at least it’s not just me …
Listen, if you want to believe in a young universe and defend all that goes along with that view, God Bless You. That’s your right and, who knows, you may be right. But please, do so with intellectual integrity, a smidgen of class, and respect for the well-thought out and biblically orthodox views of other Christian believers.
In other words, don’t do it like Ken Ham … or at least find someone besides him to do it for you.