Answers In Genesis is Coming to Canada

Are you excited by this news? Are you appalled by this news? Are you angered by this news? Are you totally confused by this news because what’s “Answers in Genesis”?

Whatever your reason for clicking through to my blog, welcome. I hope you find my posts on this organization and the linked resources helpful and informative as you prepare for the arrival of Ken Ham and his Fantastic Ark in the Great White North.

Whether you are a churchgoing Christian like me, an atheist, agnostic, or come from an other faith tradition, you should become familiar with Answers in Genesis and the possible implications for its official arrival in Canada.

What is Answers in Genesis and Why Should You Care?

Continue reading “Answers In Genesis is Coming to Canada”

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Ken Ham’s Ark Encounter is Fantastic!

Or Truth in Children’s Books but not in Advertising.

As opening day (July 7th) approaches, Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis ratchet up the advertising for their life-sized construction of Ken Ham’s construal of Noah’s Ark. Yet, as blogger and biologist Joel Duff noted on his blog Naturalis Historia, the billboards are somewhat misleading as to what you will see in Ken Ham’s Ark.

See: Joel Duff’s New Ad for Ark Encounter Contradicts Ken Ham’s Understanding of Biblical “Kinds”

The billboards depict familiar animals. The animals that you and your family can go to see at your local zoo. However, on Ken Ham’s Ark, you will only find fantastic creatures that are the imaginary constructions of Ken Ham’s creature shop.

That’s right. Apart from a petting zoo, the creatures in Ken Ham’s Ark will be totally fantastic. That is the creatures are entirely made up. Continue reading “Ken Ham’s Ark Encounter is Fantastic!”

How Ken Ham & Answers in Genesis Led Me to Accept Evolutionary Theory

Ken Ham and the folks at Answers in Genesis (AIG) often suggest that what leads people, including biblical scholars, to propose interpretations of the early chapters of Genesis that differ from a “literal” interpretation of Genesis akin to AIG‘s own is a desire to conform their understanding of Scripture (and doctrine) to modern scientific theories, i.e. “deep time”, the Big Bang, and, of course, the theory of evolution. In other words, the suggestion is that beliefs about evolution and the age of the universe not only precede but drive Christians to seek alternate interpretations of the early chapters of Genesis that better accommodate modern scientific theories.

The polemical and apologetic narrative usually sounds something like the following from a 2011 post condemning the work of Wheaton College professor John Walton:

Why are we seeing more and more bizarre and elitist ideas (e.g., William Dembski—see previous blog post for details) coming out of Christian academia? I believe it is a form of academic pride, largely from academic peer pressure, because these people ultimately “loved the praise of men more than the praise of God” (John 12:43).

Continue reading “How Ken Ham & Answers in Genesis Led Me to Accept Evolutionary Theory”

Consider the Ant!? Answers in Genesis suggests Invertebrates May Not Be Alive in the “Biblical Sense” or Whaaaat the Sheol?!?!

I can’t make this stuff up. Okay, I could. But I don’t have to because Answers in Genesis has a whole staff of writers who make this stuff up.

In order to defend AiG’s assertion that death only entered the world when ha’adam ate the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil and following a typical AiG strategy, Avery Foley suggests that ants and other insects are not living things[1],

Aside from the possibility that ants, and other insects, are not even alive in the biblical sense . . .

What does “not even alive in the biblical sense” even mean, is it like “knowing someone in the biblical sense”? “Alas, poor Yorick, I knew him well.”[2] Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.[3] Well, under the veneer of real research, AiG often includes footnotes [of course, footnote 1 is the only footnote but surely this indicates that this “scientifically” or “biblically” grounded article must have data to back up such a bold and paradigm shifting claim], let’s scroll down, shall we? Continue reading “Consider the Ant!? Answers in Genesis suggests Invertebrates May Not Be Alive in the “Biblical Sense” or Whaaaat the Sheol?!?!”

Ham-Handed Hermeneutics VI: More Hippo, Less Ham

Or the Harmonization Temptation

This post continues and concludes (for now) my engagement with Augustine’s On the Literal Meaning of Genesis.
I simply want to note some of the intriguing and insightful elements in this work. I will give particular attention to Augustine’s suggestion that Genesis 1 presents God’s causal creation of all things, including human beings, while Genesis 2 describes the formal or material creation of human beings which for Augustine is God’s ongoing creative activity. Finally, I suggest that one of the errors that is common to Ham, Augustine and many errors is the desire to harmonize Genesis 1 and Genesis 2.

[For related Ham-Handed posts follow these links: Augustine IAugustine II, Augustine III)

Continue reading “Ham-Handed Hermeneutics VI: More Hippo, Less Ham”

Ham-Handed Hermeneutics 3: St. Augustine (354-430 AD) and The Literal Meaning of Genesis (Vol I, Book 1.i-xvi)

The Ham-Handed Hermeneutics posts serve two main purposes. On the one hand, I seek to test Ken Ham and AiG’s claims that the Church has always interpreted the early chapters of Genesis in a literal fashion and in such a way that it entails a belief that the cosmos is approximately 7,000 years old. On the other hand, out of personal and scholarly interest, I seek to present thoughtfully and faithfully how the Church Fathers interpreted the early chapters of Genesis and their assumptions about the age of the universe. Continue reading “Ham-Handed Hermeneutics 3: St. Augustine (354-430 AD) and The Literal Meaning of Genesis (Vol I, Book 1.i-xvi)”

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”

Dialogue in Hamean Skepticism (Excerpt from Ham/Hume Post)

Last week, I was asked to share my thoughts on Ken Ham’s Humean Skepticism at a weekly interdisciplinary discussion group which explores the topic of God and Nature. They particularly enjoyed my imagined conversation between Ken Ham and his (fictional) son both for its humo(u)r and its illustrative power. Nothing in this post is new. So, I am keeping my promise. 😉

An Imagined Intergenerational Dialogue in mode of Hamean Skepticism

In light of Ken Ham’s beliefs about our access to knowledge of the past, I would love to be Ken Ham’s child. He needs a biblical name. Let’s call him Kenaan Ham. I can hear it, now.

Ham: Son, who broke the vase?

Kenaan: I don’t know.

Ham: It wasn’t broken when your mother and I left and you were home alone. Isn’t that your baseball?

Kenaan: Dad, there are many other possible explanations for why a vase might be broken and why my baseball might be lying in the shards. You are extrapolating based on your fallible human reason and your beliefs about the nature of boys and a belief that baseballs break vases. Have you ever seen a baseball break a vase?

Ham: Well, know I haven’t, Son. However, when I was a boy, I broke a window playing cricket.

Kenaan: Dad, a window is not a vase. All you have is shards of vase and a baseball that looks very similar to my baseball, and I may not even be the same boy that you left here this morning.

Ham: Son, did you . . .

Kenaan: Dad, let me finish. If there is one thing that you have taught me, its that the past is the past and when there is more than one possible explanation for the evidence, no matter how implausible, then we must turn from observational science to historical science. Dad, did you see me break the vase?

Ham: No, son, I didn’t.

Kenaan: Does it say anywhere in the Bible that I broke the vase?

Ham: No, son, it doesn’t.

Kenaan: Then Dad, I think we’ve learned all we can here. Let’s leave this mess for Mom to clean up. We have an Ark to build.
*******************************************************************************

The God and Nature group is open to faculty, staff, and students. We regularly have all three groups represented. The group “evolved” out a desire of a biologist at Baylor to explore the relationship of science and theology and conversations which began when I requested a good non-polemical book on evolution. He made a suggestion. What pleasantly surprised him was that I read it. In addition, to biologists, a historian of science and religion, and a physicist, we were fortunate to have a philosopher as well who teaches a course on Immanuel Kant, David Hume, & Thomas Reid which I took a few years ago. I read my blog to the the group and it generated a great deal of discussion and confirmed some possible response from different quarters. Thank you to the group for the feedback and stimulating conversation.

If you are at Baylor University and you are interested in joining us at one of our weekly conversations, by all means contact me through this blog or through my baylor e-mail. The atmosphere is informal and jovial as well as intellectually stimulating.

Why [my friend] is Not Teaching This Year…and the Heresy of Ken Ham

This post will be my last post on Ken Ham for at least a week. I promise. I may still tweet one-liners, though. @panth_ian

Many of the posts on #POPChrist and on my friend Joel’s blog ‘resurrecting orthodoxy’ have been about Ken Ham and the teachings of AiG. Below, there is a link to Joel’s initial post on this topic called “Why I am Not Teaching This Year” and will give you (my wonderful readers) a better understanding of why Ham is on our minds at the moment. Continue reading “Why [my friend] is Not Teaching This Year…and the Heresy of Ken Ham”

Why Ham is Really Bacon, Or Irony and the Evolution of AiG’s Enlightenment Worldview

Life is filled with irony. The regular tweets and articles posted by Ken Ham and AiG are like daily receiving a box of chocolates. You have already tasted one. Should you open the box and have just one more?

In recent tweets, he has delighted me with the following tasty tidbits:

@aigkenham When a well-known Bible teacher visited the Creation Museum, he told me that the museum “exceeded his expectations.”

@panth_ian Yes, Ken, if I ever visit, I expect it will exceend mine as well. #howlowcanyougo Continue reading “Why Ham is Really Bacon, Or Irony and the Evolution of AiG’s Enlightenment Worldview”