The Heresy of Ham

The title of this post is the working title of my friend’s book on the teachings and influence of Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis (AIG). At present, the two of us are joining into the ongoing discussion about the relation of Christianity to Science. Neither of us accept the parameters of the debate as it is often defined by Young Earth Creationists (YEC) and their defacto debate partners, the so-called New Atheists (i.e. Richard Dawkins, Bill Maher, etc.). The debate as defined by the usual and very vocal participants and, therefore, as seen presented by the media and understood by the majority of the public usually presents a very stark either/or. Either the Bible (as interpreted by Ken Ham and AIG, etc.) offers a valid, historical, and scientific account of the proximate origins of the universe and therefore Christianity is true or modern scientific theories about the proximate origins of the universe (aka Big Bang and billions of years) and the origin of species (aka Evolution) is accurate and therefore theism is false. Continue reading “The Heresy of Ham”

Ham-Handed Hermeneutics 1: Reading the Church Fathers I – Origen of Alexandria (ca. 184 – ca.254)

Currently, on Ken Ham’s website Answers in Genesis, there is a presentation of the Church Fathers’ reading of Genesis 1 by James R. Mook. The claim of Mook and the people at AIG is that up until the Enlightenment the standard interpretation of Genesis 1 is in keeping with and supports the claims of Young Earth Creationism. That is, the universe is less than 7,000 years old and that the reference to a day in Genesis 1 is to be taken as a concrete or literal 24 hour period. Continue reading “Ham-Handed Hermeneutics 1: Reading the Church Fathers I – Origen of Alexandria (ca. 184 – ca.254)”

Ken Ham’s Humean Skepticism or “Hey, Ham Your Enlightened Roots Are Showing”

In a recent post, Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell does what Ken Ham and AIG do in the majority of their posts. She responds to a recent scientific publication in which researchers write about something related to the theory of evolution or the age of the universe. Then she and the team at AIG attempt to offer an alternative explanation of the same evidence. Their explanation is supposed to undermine the conclusions and assumptions of the scientific researchers and validate (or conform) to the texts of Genesis 1-11 which they interpret scientifically.

As title of Mitchell’s article suggests, Mitchell and AIG see the problem as stemming from differing world-views or presuppositions. From their perspective, the presupposition of the so-called “secular” scientists is that the universe is billions of years old, the presupposition of AIG (which they base on their peculiar interpretation of the Bible) is that the earth is less than 7,000 years old and that the catastrophic flood described in Genesis 6-9 was a global flood and occured around 4,300 years ago. Like AIG, I do think there is a clash of world-views and presuppositions going on in this “debate” (it cannot be called a dialogue) but it is not the clash identified by Ken Ham and AIG. The clash is between the implicit skepticism of AIG and the historical Christian tradition. Continue reading “Ken Ham’s Humean Skepticism or “Hey, Ham Your Enlightened Roots Are Showing””