What Motivates Ken Ham? or What Answers in Genesis gets Wrong about N.T. Wright

A common tactic of Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis (AiG) is to attack fellow Christians and accuse them of being “compromised Christians.” In the process, if they don’t outright misrepresent these men and women (mostly men), then they most certainly under represent their significant and valuable contributions to the Church and yes, even to, the Academy.

Most recently, Simon Turpin, one of the UK spokespeople for AiG, has aimed his crosshairs at the distinguished Biblical scholar and former Bishop of Durham, N.T. Wright. (Click for AiG article.) Wright has devoted his entire life to the service of the Church and the Academy. Moreover, he is of that all too rare and special breed of scholar who is not only able to write to his academic peers but to translate that work into simpler, more accessible, popular books. Indeed, he helps his reader by using the name N.T. Wright on his more difficult and erudite books and Tom Wright on his more popular works. In addition, he is an incredible public speaker and is among the best preachers I have had the privilege to hear.

Later in this post, I will address Turpin’s misleading portrayal of Wright. For now, it is enough to suggest that even Wright’s “secular” colleagues and critics would be amused to hear him described as compromising and seeking their approval. Indeed, if they read Turpin’s descriptions, they would likely mistake his descriptions as ironic or satirical like when you name an elephant Tiny. Having met Wright myself, I suspect this description would be met with a chuckle. Continue reading “What Motivates Ken Ham? or What Answers in Genesis gets Wrong about N.T. Wright”

Advertisements

Ken Ham’s Doctrine of Accelerated Evolution or Supranatural Selection

One of the strangest elements of the teaching of Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis (and that’s saying something when you are talking about people who insist human beings and dinosaurs co-existed) is that with all the fuss they make over the theory of evolution, their position entails the acceptance of an accelerated evolutionary model.

Ham and the folks at AiG insist that the earth (and, indeed, the cosmos) is less than 7,000 years old. The cosmos originated in 4004 BC or 0 anno mundi (See their time-lines.) In keeping with their literalist interpretation of Genesis 1-11 and based on the well-known Noah story, they also insist that there was a global flood in 2348 BC. During this flood, Noah rescued 7,000 “kinds” of animals. Kinds should not be confused with the modern scientifc term species. Nevertheless, from these 7,000 kinds (which included some dinosaurs) all the land animals, aviary animals, and most of the amphibious animals are descended. Continue reading “Ken Ham’s Doctrine of Accelerated Evolution or Supranatural Selection”

An Unhappy Marriage I (or Atheists are from Mars and Young Earthers are from well Earth apparently)

By entering into the discussion of origins and the Bible, I am not particularly interested in addressing those who are actively promoting Young Earth Creationism. Rather, my intended audience consists of those who want to consider these questions and are open to the possibility that other options presented by confessing Christians who are experts in their fields may be viable alternatives to the stark either/or position proferred by people like Ken Ham.

However, as one can imagine, venturing into this conversation sometimes involves attempting to “converse” with YE evangelists on one side and the evangelistic atheists that YECs fear on the other side. What neither of these “groups” realize is how similar they really are. They are in a symbiotic relationship with one another but it is an unhealthy relationship. While they feed off one antother, like parasites they suck the life out of the rest of us and out of the Christianity, Science, and Reason they claim to defend. Continue reading “An Unhappy Marriage I (or Atheists are from Mars and Young Earthers are from well Earth apparently)”

Ken Ham on Homo Naledi: See No Evidence, Hear No Evidence, Speak No Truth

Today’s Reading: Psalm 115 & Jeremiah 7:4

Having read the post on Naturalis Historia about the release of information on H. naledi, I knew it would not be long before Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis (AiG) voiced their collective judgment on the finding. Moreover, I knew what that judgment would be in advance. I am prescient that way. For Ham and AiG, This discovery would change nothing.

So, I was not surprised when Ken Ham released a tweet and a link to an “article” responding to this release of information about H. Naledi. Continue reading “Ken Ham on Homo Naledi: See No Evidence, Hear No Evidence, Speak No Truth”

Mind the Gap II: Healing the Split-Brain Syndrome in Young Adults (and the rest of us)

In my previous post “Diagnosing the Split-Brain Syndrome“, I focussed on my own experience growing up switching between absolute credulity and scientific rigour (at least a little more rigour than the average teenager). The most bizarre thing to me is that it did not seem to phase me or those around me. I could be talking about the latest discoveries in shark behaviour in one instant and recounting the latest alien abduction story in the next. No one ever questioned me about the incongruity. Indeed, if anything, people were more interested in the latter than the former.

It will surprise many non-Christians that for me the healing began shortly after my conversion to Christianity in my first year of university. While it began with a desire to understand the Scriptures better, the real healing began when I attended Regent College for Graduate School. Continue reading “Mind the Gap II: Healing the Split-Brain Syndrome in Young Adults (and the rest of us)”

Mind the Gap I: Diagnosing Split-Brain Syndrome in Young Adults (and the rest of us)

Many Christians seem to suffer from what I am calling “Split-Brain Syndrome”. That is, many Christians seem to switch unwittingly between a Science Brain and a Church Brain. This psychological problem is nurtured by a culture that divides the public and private spheres and is reinforced by a popular polemics that are framed by the conflict models of religion vs. science, faith vs. reason, religion vs. secular, Ham vs. Dawkins, etc. As my own story will demonstrate, this “double-mindedness” is not peculiar to Christians.

Though not a Christian at the time, in my youth, I experienced this split-brain syndrome. Continue reading “Mind the Gap I: Diagnosing Split-Brain Syndrome in Young Adults (and the rest of us)”

How To Teach Genesis One in 30 Minutes

Having spent many words critiquing Ken Ham and AiG’s approach to this discussion, it is about time that I offered an alternative constructive approach to teaching Genesis 1. Continue reading “How To Teach Genesis One in 30 Minutes”

What Evolution Is by Ernst Mayr

Mayr, Ernst. What Evolution Is. (Basic Books, 2002) $9.99 Kindle/$12.91 Paper

Truly wanting to understand the theory of evolution as it is currently held and the evidence for it, I asked a fellow church member who is also a biologist to recommend a book that would describe the theory to me in a non-polemical tone. That is, I wanted to read a contemporary account of the theory of evolution by someone who was not also trying to convince me either that I ought to be an atheist or that I ought to reject the evidence if I wanted to remain a Christian. Nor was I looking for books about theistic evolution or Intelligent Design. I wanted a book about the scientific theory of evolution as I might want a book about string theory or the nature of blackholes. Continue reading “What Evolution Is by Ernst Mayr”