Ken Ham Deluded by Poe’s Law?

ACCORDING to Poe’s Law: “Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humour, it is impossible to create a parody of fundamentalism that someone won’t mistake for the real thing.” Poe’s Law is familiar to most of us who follow The Controversy between evolution and creationism.

Having said that, dear reader, you would probably be of the opinion that a professional creationist operator like Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — the genius who brought you the website Answers in Genesis (AIG) and the mind-boggling Creation Museum — would never fall victim to what we call “a Poe.”

But even a master can be scammed. Let us look at what Hambo has just posted on his own blog at the AIG website: From Old Earth Compromise Back to Biblical Authority. Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:

We have heard many testimonies over the years of Christians who had compromised the Word of God (thus undermining its authority), but have had their eyes opened and recognized that they needed to return to biblical authority — as a result of being influenced by the AiG ministry.

Hambo must find that kind of thing deeply satisfying — as well as being financially rewarding. Is he now going to tell us about such a “testimony”? Let’s read on:

Sadly, many Christian leaders (pastors, college professors, seminary professors, etc.) have taken the pagan religion of the age (evolutionary humanism) to explain life without God, and they use such a belief to be in authority over God’s Word.

Evolutionary humanism? Oh m’God! We continue:

This testimony we received this week reveals how God’s people need to return to biblical authority:

Okay, now you know what’s coming. Hambo is sharing this week’s “testimony” with us. But as you read it, please consider whether Hambo has fallen for a Poe. Here’s the testimony, and besides adding bold font, we’ll add some color for additional emphasis:

I was an old earth creationist because it just seemed to make good sense. After some reading, I was inspired enough to work a full day’s visit to the Creation Museum into my vacation plans.

Gotta love it! Moving along:

All my foundations cracked and now I am firmly a believer in the 6, 24-hour day, literal creation, as the Bible clearly teaches.

Poe or no? Take your time deciding, dear reader. It’s not over yet. Here’s another excerpt:

The issue is undoubtedly the authority of Scripture as it clearly speaks. Though many others may think me a fool to ignore what seems to be ‘reasonable,’ I cannot help but to accept God’s Word on faith.

One final portion of the testimony remains:

When something contradicts the Word, I can’t be swayed by the ideas of men.

There it is. Hambo finds it convincing. As for your Curmudgeon, we think that somewhere there’s a teenager laughing it up with his buddies at how he wrote a letter that bamboozled ol’ Hambo. But who knows? It’s in the nature of Poe’s Law that we can’t distinguish between the two possibilities.

Copyright © 2010. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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8 responses to “Ken Ham Deluded by Poe’s Law?

  1. Poe or no, it’s exasperating. How can people be so dumb? Seriously? How can they? Having attended a fundamentalist church for many years, I tried to keep my skepticism to a minimum because I truly believed that if I studied apologetics long enough, the answers would be there. But guess what?

    You guessed didn’t you?

    There were no answers! Just smoke-and-mirrors rhetoric. And an extremely disappointed LRA.

    I think the biggest threat to religion is fundamentalism. If you insist on misrepresenting reality, people aren’t going to come along. That’s why church numbers are dropping like a lead weight in water.

  2. Unfortunately, I have no trouble supposing that someone wrote that in all earnestness and sincerity. And it could as easily be a Poe.

    Perhaps the real question isn’t so much whether Ham fell for someone posing as such a gullible mark or if he just is such a gullible mark, but why Ham would think that the unbearable shallowness of this person speaks well of creationism.

  3. Perhaps the real question […is…] why Ham would think that the unbearable shallowness of this person speaks well of creationism.

    Exactly. The letter reads very much like a “the professors at the university called me mad, but I’ll show them…” type of diatribe. Even if its sincere, its not the sort of justification for belief one should be proud of.

  4. The letter reads exactly like an story in The Onion.

    Uncanny.

  5. Gabriel Hanna

    I think the biggest threat to religion is fundamentalism. If you insist on misrepresenting reality, people aren’t going to come along. That’s why church numbers are dropping like a lead weight in water.

    Except that for thirty years now, the fundamentalist movements are the ones that are gaining members, and gaining dedicated members, as opposed to people who show up only for weddings and Easter.

    It’s not just Christianity, and it’s not just in America. The “reasonable” churches–except for Catholicism, which runs the whole gamut in itself from “reasonable” to “fundamentalist”–have been losing ground for years.

    Religion fulfills a need in people that “reasonableness” doesn’t. There are people who don’t like being told what to do, don’t like associating with big groups of strangers, and feel suffocated rather than fulfilled as a member of a pack or a herd. We call these people “curmudgeons”, but the rest of us are conventional primates who are most comfortable in hierarchies. (It is well to remember that “hierarchy” means “rule of priests”.)

  6. “Except that for thirty years now, the fundamentalist movements are the ones that are gaining members,”

    Not so much. This article sums up ARIS findings that the US government uses to track religious affiliation.

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2009-03-09-american-religion-ARIS_N.htm

  7. Gabriel Hanna

    You have to read the article carefully because they are comparing percentages of total population, not absolute number. Baptists, for example, did not drop in membership even though the chart says “-3.5%”–they actually gained 1 million members. Another problem is that for some reason this chart thinks there were 218 million Americans in 1990, but the Census says 250 million. And the large gain showed by Wiccans, adherents of a religion invented in the 1970s, hardly shows an increase in rationality!

    These figures aren’t as new, but you can see that Catholicism has been growing and Baptist membership has stayed about the same.

  8. retiredsciguy

    Curmy says,
    “There it is. Hambo finds it convincing.”

    He should. Hambo probably wrote it himself.
    (“Oh, would he do that?”)