Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Hamming it up for ID

Here at Prophet or Madman, we -- and I mean "we" in the strictest of editorial senses -- do what we can to keep you dear readers informed and entertained. And from time to time, we feel the need to give a great big Prophet or Madman salute to an individual -- or even an organization -- who has gone beyond the call of duty in either brilliance or inanity. Today we must make the time for such a salute. As anyone in the blogosphere no doubt knows, there is a vigorous creationist movement right here in the United States. For those of us living in or near Philadelphia, the movement struck quite close to "home" last year in the form of the Dover school board trials. And it looks like the debate rages on. I don't know how recently this occurred, but a writer from the Los Angeles Times was present to record a small taste of Ken Ham, the Australian-born leader of the movement (he co-founded Answers in Genesis in Australia in 1979), as he trained 2,300 elementary students to reject much of geology, paleontology and evolutionary biology as a sinister tangle of lies. In Wayne, NJ.

Their Own Version of a Big Bang By Stephanie Simon, LA Times Staff Writer Feb. 11, 2006 WAYNE, N.J. — Evangelist Ken Ham smiled at the 2,300 elementary students packed into pews, their faces rapt. With dinosaur puppets and silly cartoons, he was training them to reject much of geology, paleontology and evolutionary biology as a sinister tangle of lies. "Boys and girls," Ham said. If a teacher so much as mentions evolution, or the Big Bang, or an era when dinosaurs ruled the Earth, "you put your hand up and you say, 'Excuse me, were you there?' Can you remember that?" The children roared their assent. "Sometimes people will answer, 'No, but you weren't there either,' " Ham told them. "Then you say, 'No, I wasn't, but I know someone who was, and I have his book about the history of the world.' " He waved his Bible in the air. "Who's the only one who's always been there?" Ham asked. "God!" the boys and girls shouted. "Who's the only one who knows everything?" "God!" "So who should you always trust, God or the scientists?" The children answered with a thundering: "God!" [...] [Ham] urges students to offer creationist critiques of their textbooks, parents to take on science museum docents, professionals to raise the subject with colleagues. If Ham has done his job well, his acolytes will ask enough pointed questions — and set forth enough persuasive arguments — to shake the doctrine of Darwin. "We're going to arm you with Christian Patriot missiles," Ham, 54, recently told the 1,200 adults gathered at Calvary Temple here in northern New Jersey. It was a Friday night, the kickoff of a heavily advertised weekend conference sponsored by Ham's ministry, Answers in Genesis. To a burst of applause, Ham exhorted: "Get out and change the world!" ...Ham's daily 90-second broadcasts — on themes such as life in the Garden of Eden — are heard on more than 1,000 radio stations worldwide. He's building a $25 million Creation Museum near the Cincinnati international airport. ...Several Imax theaters in the South — including a few in science museums — have refused to show movies that mention evolution or the Earth's age. Bills that would allow or require science teachers to mention alternatives to evolution have been introduced in Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma and Utah. State boards of education in Kansas and Ohio adopted guidelines that single out evolution for critique. The governor of Kentucky used his State of the Commonwealth address to encourage public schools to teach alternative theories of man's origins. [Read More]
At the very least, Ham considers the notion that one can be a Christian and still accept evolution as treasonous. He insists that the Bible be taken literally, and that means God created the universe and everything in it in just six 24-hour days (and then took a 24-hour break), and that this occurred roughly 6,000 years ago. He is so adamantly against teaching evolution that he places it "at the root of all social ills: abortion, divorce, racism, gay marriage, store clerks who say 'Happy Holidays' instead of 'Merry Christmas.'" Phew. I gotta admire the man's devotion to his cause. But anyone who claims that the theory of evolution is responsible for divorce ... well, that's just plain nutty. But do not discount the man. He has too much support. Both here and in his own nation. That makes him not only nutty ... but dangerous. Science education is already at risk in the United States. I don't care if folks teach religion to their kids at home, that is the way things should be. But do not throw science out of the classroom just because it seems to threaten something written in a book, thousands of years ago, by a person or persons who had a limited world view.


Anonymous said...

I am believer of creation and I have a couple comments about the article Their Own Version of a Big Bang by Stephanie Simon. First of all I am not a bigot or narrow minded as some people like to label creationist. I do not fear science such as to believe that it is anti Christian. No, on the contrary I believe that if God created the universe that he created science and all we know. The confusion is that too many people are placing scientific "theory" as proven science. Things such as "The Big Bang Theory is exactly what it says it is"..... a "theory" not fact. Also I believe that creationist are labeled and stereotyped as bigot and narrow minded because they do not accept the theories of Macro-evolution or the Big Bang Theory. That is stupid to label us that because we reject a theory. Could not Creationist say that about non-creationist? Do you not reject a Theory your self? I know that with your aspect it's a little diffrent because we view our theory as absolute truth. Yet, is this so unlogical? Has The Bible and its scientific , archeological, and historic ever been disproven? Has not The Bible endured more scrutiny and time than the evolution and big bang theory has? You think we are lunatics because we have faith in God yet we cannot show you Him in person. Can you show me that the Big bang theory is fact? Do you not put just as much faith in believing those things as we do God? I am not trying to attack or scrutinize your believes, but I am having a hard time understanding why you attack our beliefs. Now I know that there are Christians who attack your beliefs, but you cannot take one person and classify a whole religion as such. Also, I do not view trying to disprove a theory as an attack. Scientist are to supposed to attempt to disprove a theory before it becomes fact. Can you disprove God? Obvisouly the answer is no because if it was possible it would have been already done. The reason is because attached to believing in Creation and Christianity comes morals and values. Other theories so upheld because men do not want to answer to any one but ourselves. We try to logic away God so that we do not have to answer to a Holy Judge. We say religion is foolish and that science is truth. Christians are easly fooled into this logic that science is evil. Yet, Is not GOD Science? If you are a creationist you believe that God created everything. SO how can you be fooled into believing that God and science cannot mix? God created everything, so I think would know science. We are letting Scientologist and aethist to push us out of the way and fear science. Why? So that they can have a monoply on the science section and not have the fear of the idea of their theories to be disproven. So, Stephanie Simon is quick to judge and cut down our belief because Ken Ham is teaching children to question theory. Yet what is she doing? Also so many Americans today is against Christianity that it is crazy. Has every one forgot what America was founded one? People are so anti-american because we are not as far ahead of the rest of the world as we once was. Why is that though? What has changed in America that is beginning to cause so many problems for us. Is it Democratic or Republican leadership? No, it's not the fault of one leader. It is the fault of our whole country. When we left in God we trust we started a problem. When we took prayer to God out of school we started a problem. When we left morality and accepted humanism we started a problem. When we went from serving liberty to politics we started a problem. When we we left "It's not what your country do for you but what can you do for your country?" we started a problem. We started a problem when the goverment started accepting things that Christians could not stand for. We started a problem when we took man's theories as fact and left the tried and true arm of God.

brainwise said...

The Anonymous Commenter left the exact same message over at Dialogic, so I will just point you to the response I posted there.