Ken Ham Offers $1 Admission for School Kids

They must be getting desperate for attendance at Ark Encounter, the latest creationist extravaganza brought forth by Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo). You have no doubt noticed that although they often mention large crowds, whatever that might mean, no ticket sales figures have yet been released. To us, the silence is a strong indicator that those figures are a colossal embarrassment.

At ol’ Hambo’s personal blog, he shows us his latest tactic to increase traffic: Public Schools Invited to Tour the Ark. Every sane reader immediately recognizes the problem with Hambo’s invitation. It’s no different than if a preacher invited the government-run, taxpayer-supported schools to bring their students to his church during the school day. Government institutions can’t do that in the US. But Hambo thinks he’s above the Constitution. He begins with this, and the bold font is in his post:

In an era when any hint of Christian expression in the public arena is aggressively challenged by secularists who instead want to impose their anti-God religion on the culture, we need to remind all Americans of their First Amendment right of freedom of expression. One major example of how this constitutional guarantee is being trampled upon occurs in almost all government-run schools where a phrase — not found in the Constitution — is applied: the so-called separation of church and state.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! It’s true, that precise phrase isn’t in the Constitution. We’ve pointed out a few times before that “checks and balances” doesn’t appear in the text of the Constitution either, nor does “limited government,” or “federal republic,” or “popular sovereignty,” or many other phrases that are nevertheless routinely used to accurately describe the Constitution. So it is with “separation of church and state.”

When Hambo raised that same issue earlier, we wrote Ken Ham Unhinged: Creationism & Theocracy Too, in which we quoted letters from James Madison, the man who drafted the First Amendment, stating that the absolute separation of between ecclesiastical and civil authorities was the Amendment’s purpose. But Madison’s opinion is nothing compared to Hambo’s.

Okay, we’re off to a good start. Hambo knows as much about the US Constitution as he does about the geological and biological history of the Earth, and in this case his ark symbolizes his knowledge. Here are some additional excerpts from Hambo’s post, and from now on, the bold font was added by us for emphasis:

In our increasingly secularized world, public school teachers not only come under fire if they even suggest they may be creationists, but their job security can also be threatened even if they just point out the flaws with the evolutionary belief system. [Hee hee!] Moreover, given the irony that teachers are supposed to enjoy academic freedom, it’s the brave principal or school superintendent, facing possible threats of lawsuits from “civil liberties” groups, who will give a teacher the go-ahead nowadays to bring students to the Creation Museum and/or our new Ark Encounter in Northern Kentucky.

Academic freedom, flaws in the theory of evolution — Hambo is sounding more like a Discoveroid every day. Let’s read on:

As such, field trips to the Creation Museum by public school groups have been rare. If secular groups happen to find out about even one school visit, they will go to the media with their bullying threats to intimidate school officials to stop such visits.

Bullying threats. That’s another common phrase of the Discoveroids. Hambo continues:

With this article, we want to remind educators in government-run schools of their constitutionally guaranteed rights as they fulfill their goal of presenting broad educational experiences for their students and, along the way, helping to develop the critical thinking skills of their pupils.

Anyone employed by a government-financed school system who takes advice from Hambo (instead of the school district’s lawyers) deserves whatever career catastrophes may result. Here’s more:

To help widen students’ education [Hee hee!], AiG is offering a special program to encourage public school classes to visit the Ark in Williamstown and be exposed to an exceptional and totally unique educational experience. If coming as a public school class, students pay only $1 each and their supervising public school teachers come free. The offer is good through the end of this year.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! In our humble opinion, the “educational experience” of such a visit isn’t worth two cents. Moving along:

[O]n the basis of the US Constitution, public schools are certainly free to take students on field trips (with appropriate parental permissions) to places like our museum and Ark, as long as the trip is for historical, recreational, or educational purposes. FFRF [Freedom From Religion Foundation] has no legal basis at all to intimidate government-run schools, as they are now attempting. In fact, such secular groups are violating students’ rights by their bullying — and they are also in violation of the First Amendment.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Reminding schools about their constitutional responsibilities is a violation of the First Amendment! Another excerpt:

The Ark and Creation Museum offer an excellent opportunity to give students the exposure to a different point of view that is largely censored from most public schools. No court ruling to our knowledge has determined that such educational outings to Christian venues are unlawful.

Hambo carefully limits his opinion to the subject of court rulings on “educational outings to Christian venues.” Even he must be aware of the problems inherent in dumping that kind of material on kids in the classroom. If not, perhaps he should learn something about the bizarre career of John Freshwater. As for off-campus activities during school hours, Alabama tried to make that stuff legal, but even in that state the proposed law didn’t get passed — see Alabama’s 2012 Creationism Bill: It’s Dead. One more excerpt:

Americans, whether Christians or not, should not allow groups like the FFRF to bully schools into accepting their twisted view of what is constitutional and what is not.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Be assured, dear reader, that ol’ Hambo would never give anyone a “twisted view” of anything. If you doubt that, just visit his Creation Museum.

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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New Star Trek Movie — a Creationist Review

You’re probably aware of Star Trek Beyond (Wikipedia article), the newest film in the Star Trek series. Your Curmudgeon is a long-time science fiction fan, and although most movies are a disappointment, we’ve always liked the Star Trek TV series, both the original and the Next Generation.

We’ll eventually get around to watching the latest film, but probably not until it can be seen free on television, and we haven’t read any of its reviews, although they’re all over the place. However, we spotted one review that belongs on this humble blog.

London-based Christian Today, which says it’s “an independent Christian media company, established in 2004,” and which believes in the “divine inspiration and supreme authority of the Old and New Testament Scriptures, which are the written Word of God – fully trustworthy for faith and conduct,” has this headline in their Entertainment section: Star Trek Beyond: searching for hope in a godless universe. They don’t have a comments section.

It was written by contributing editor Martin Saunders, about whom we know nothing. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

Science fiction almost always seems to take place in a godless universe.

Wow — what a beginning! But hold on, it gets even better:

I suppose the ‘science’ part of that title is the clue as to why: these are the stories which celebrate the breaking frontiers of human achievement, the imagined possibilities of where our collective ingenuity might one day take us. What’s more, sci-fi so often takes us up into the stars – where previous generations imagined heaven must be located – and finds only astronomical phenomena and a playground for adventure. God’s not there.

Your Curmudgeon must have led a very sheltered life. We’ve never encountered such a view of science fiction before. By the way, professionals refer to their field as “science fiction” or “SF.” The reviewer’s use of “sci-fi” is a clear indicator that he’s a novice. Let’s read on:

That’s certainly the premise behind Star Trek, the sprawling sci-fi saga which gets yet another cinematic outing this month with Star Trek Beyond. It’s about the crew of the most advanced spaceship ever built, on a five-year mission to explore deep space, discovering extraordinary new worlds and intense dangers at every turn. But God is nowhere to be found; as if the universe has advanced past their primitive need for him.

Gasp — what a horrible universe that must be! The review continues:

Sci-fi stories might be godless, but they inevitably create these situations of intense darkness in order to explore some actually very spiritual ideas: depth and development of character; the responsibilities of leadership; the need for a saviour; hope.

Aha — the film can’t avoid exploring “spiritual ideas” like hope. Maybe it’s not totally worthless. Here’s more:

Holding on to hope in the face of the seemingly impossible is often the driving force for protagonists in science fiction – we see overwhelming odds being overcome in almost every major sci-fi and fantasy story. Hope and redemption are so often key to the genre, despite being such unscientific ideas.

Even a godless science fiction movie is based on hope and redemption. Moving along:

All of this makes the film feel incredibly relevant and timely for us in the real world, where we’re currently a little short on hope, and left wondering whether the sort of unity and solidarity we’ve seen after recent atrocities is enough to overcome the evil displayed by individuals.

So there’s some merit to the film after all — if you know what to look for. The reviewer describes a bit of the plot, and he actually says the film is enjoyable. We’ve skipped all of that because there are undoubtedly better sources of information. But now, dear reader, you know what a creationist thinks about science fiction.

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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Tim LaHaye, Creationist Prime Mover, Has Died

Something popped up in one of our news sweeps, and at first we couldn’t figure out why. It’s at the website of NBC News: ‘Left Behind’ Co-Author Tim LaHaye, Leading Voice of Evangelicalism, Dies.

So we started to scan the thing. It begins:

Tim LaHaye, an intellectual and popular leader of the evangelical movement whose 16 “Left Behind” novels sold tens of millions of copies, died Monday at age 90 in San Diego following a stroke last week, his ministry and his family said. The “Left Behind” novels, co-written with Jerry B. Jenkins, were enormously popular, crashing mainstream best-seller lists in the 1990s and the 2000s, which until then had been all but unheard of for Christian-themed fiction.

We’ve heard of those books, but we never read one. We were wondering what this has to do with our humble blog, so we continued scanning and learned:

[Jerry] Falwell, who died in 2007, credited LaHaye with having inspired him to found the Moral Majority in 1979.

[…]

LaHaye also founded San Diego Christian College, 12 Christian secondary schools and the Tim LaHaye School of Prophecy at Falwell’s Liberty University in Virginia.

We didn’t know he had that kind of influence. But wait — here’s the big news:

Among the first departments at San Diego Christian College was the Institute for Creation Research, which branched out as an influential young-Earth creationist research organization in 1972.

Wow — the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) is the fountainhead of young-earth creationist wisdom. That’s where ol’ Hambo began his career when he came here from Australia. And it was LaHaye who got the whole thing started. Maybe that’s common knowledge among creationists, but it was news to us.

There’s a lot more in the NBC article, but nothing else of interest to us. As far as we can determine, LaHaye had no connection with the Discovery Institute. They’ve never even mentioned him in any of their blog articles.

Anyway, that’s all we could find this evening. Make of it what you will.

Addendum: ICR has a brief post that confirms LaHaye’s role in their founding — see Tim LaHaye Is Now Home.

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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Discovery Institute: Our Magical Magnetic Sense

Like children in their first science class, the Discovery Institute seems to be enchanted with the phenomenon of magnetism. We recently wrote Discoveroids: Still More Evidence of Design, in which they declared that the ability of deer to detect the Earth’s magnetism scores high on their mysterious detectors of Irreducible complexity, which is powerful evidence that we were created by the intelligent designer — blessed be he! — for life on this Privileged Planet.

The Discoveroids’ fascination with magnetism is also the subject of this new post at their creationist blog: Are Humans Magnetic? It has no author’s byline. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

Last month, we noted a study that shows how deer orient themselves on a north-south axis, and wondered if humans have a latent magnetic sense. Now there is new evidence that we might. The champion of human magnetic perception is Joe Kirschvink of Caltech. In Science Magazine, Eric Hand talked about the lively debate over this possible sixth sense:

This is the article they’re referring to: Maverick scientist thinks he has discovered a magnetic sixth sense in humans. We’ll skip their quotes and most of their discussion, so we can concentrate on the truly entertaining stuff. Near the end they say:

The evolutionary theory would require magnetic sensation arising by chance in the earliest bacteria, then persisting throughout the entire tree of life but disappearing or lying dormant in many species. Either that, or evolutionists would have to postulate that it arose independently in distant parts of the tree unrelated by nearby ancestry.

What’s wrong with that? You’re about to find out. Let’s read on:

But magnetic fields are invisible; why would any organism even be aware of them?

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Sound, taste, and odor are invisible too. So are pheromones. Nevertheless, they are detectable by most organisms. The Discoveroids continue:

And if perchance a bacterium or other creature suddenly engulfed some magnetite and then somehow sensed the field, how would it know the information is useful? How did the information become encoded in the genome to both sense magnetism and respond to it?

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! The organisms don’t have to “know” anything. But if such a sense were useful, it would be likely to result in a survival and then reproductive advantage. Here’s more:

Design advocates do not find it surprising that diverse animals can share methods of sensing invisible forces available to them. Intelligent designers know how to make sensors. They know how to make responders.

[*Begin Drool Mode*] Ooooooooooooh! [*End Drool Mode*] Observe, dear reader, the application of the advanced techniques of the Discoveroids’ new scientific tool kit — feelings, intuition, and personal experience, which we recently described in Klinghoffer Says ‘Go With Your Feelings’.

And now we come to the end:

Whether it’s for light, sound, touch, odor, or taste, sensors in the living world are marvelously complex. One expects the magnetic sense that scientists are just now coming to understand will be no less so.

So there you are, dear reader. The Discoveroids know what everything discovered by scientists, whether they realize it or not, is evidence of Oogity Boogity!

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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