Ken Ham & Isaac Asimov

The weekend is a good time to refer you to a fine old essay by Isaac Asimov.

It’s titled The “Threat” of Creationism, and was written back in 1981. There is never anything new in creationism, so the essay is still up-to-date. We know you’re going to read the whole thing, so we’ll only excerpt a tiny bit:

They are creationists — they call themselves “scientific” creationists — and they are a growing power in the land, demanding that schools be forced to teach their views. State legislatures, mindful of the votes, are beginning to succumb to the pressure. In perhaps 15 states, bills have been introduced, putting forth the creationist point of view, and in others, strong movements are gaining momentum.

Asimov is referring to a wave of “equal time” legislation being promoted back then by the Institute for Creation Research. See: Antievolutionism and Creationism in the United States. Here’s a bit more from Asimov’s article:

To those who are trained in science, creationism seems like a bad dream, a sudden reliving of a nightmare, a renewed march of an army of the night risen to challenge free thought and enlightenment.

[…]

Tens of millions of Americans, who neither know nor understand the actual arguments for or even against evolution, march in the army of the night with their Bibles held high. And they are a strong and frightening force, impervious to, and immunized against, the feeble lance of mere reason.

That’s enough. Now click over to that link and read it all. It’s pretty much a summary of everything.

But wait, there’s more! For your continuing weekend pleasure, we offer something at the website of the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) — the fountainhead of young-earth creationist wisdom. To our great surprise, we found an article there authored by Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the promoter of Answers in Genesis (AIG) and the mind-boggling Creation Museum.

Hambo’s article was written on the occasion of Asimov’s death in 1992, which was before Hambo had gone into the creationism business for himself. That explains why this article appears at the ICR website. Here are some excerpts from Hambo’s charming memorial to Asimov titled Asimov Meets His Creator. The bold font was added by us, and we’ve omitted scripture references:

Isaac Asimov, President of the American Humanist Association, science fiction writer, ardent evolutionist, and active anti-creationist, died recently.

[…]

According to Asimov, death over millions of years finally resulted in man and his complex brain being formed. You see, evolution was his religion — his system of belief about the meaning of life, and his origin and destiny.

We are grateful to Hambo for explaining Asimov’s thinking, because Isaac was a man of mystery who never bothered to leave us any written record of his thoughts. Let’s read on:

However, the Christian message is that death is an intrusion into this universe because of sin. …

The Bible also teaches that those who do not repent of their sin and accept what was accomplished on the cross of Calvary suffer a second death. When their body dies, physically, that is not the end of their existence. “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Hambo gleefully informs us that Isaac is now suffering in the lake of fire. He continues:

As I thought about Isaac Asimov’s death and contemplated the meaning of death, the thought came to me that there is a choice before people today similar to that given Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

Oh? And what would that be? Shall we ride a dinosaur this morning, or maybe eat some fruit from that pretty tree conveniently placed in the middle of the Garden? Hambo tells us:

There is a choice today between the Tree of Death and the Tree of Life. In biology, we are taught that man is a product of the evolutionary tree. The picture of evolution in our textbooks is referred to as a tree with the various branches depicting the directions of the evolutionary process. This tree teaches that death over millions of years brought man into existence — that death is really what life is all about. It teaches us that man is just another animal in this struggle for survival, so he has no real set of rules to govern him except his own instincts and desires.

Got that? Biology teaches that death “is really what life is all about,” and there are no rules. Here’s more:

Hitler thus used evolution to justify death to millions of those he deemed unfit to survive. Abortionists often use evolution to justify death to millions of unborn babies. Communists have used evolution to justify death to millions.

Hitler! Abortion! Communism! Egad! Moving along:

Jesus Christ offers us the Tree of Life — the cross of Calvary that allows us to gain access to the Tree of Life. Sadly, many today, like Isaac Asimov, are choosing the Tree of Death.

Yes, Isaac made the wrong choice. Another excerpt:

In reading over Luke 16:19-31 today, Isaac Asimov again came to mind. As far as I know, he never made a profession of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. As far as I know, he is now experiencing the judgment described by the Lord Jesus in this most serious passage.

[…]

Isaac Asimov read creationist books. He read the Bible. He had ample opportunity to kneel before his Creator and Savior. He refused.

He refused? Then he was a fool! Burn, Isaac, burn!

Thank you, Hambo, for your wondrous and loving insights.

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

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18 responses to “Ken Ham & Isaac Asimov

  1. I don’t know about other Christians, but speaking only for myself, I’ve never mistaken Ken Ham for God. How unfortunate for him, that he has.

    I miss Asimov. No Asimov means no more Black Widowers.

  2. I for one think that these so called “Christians” (who don’t act in a very Christian way) are in for a real shock when they get to the Pearly Gates. What are they going to do when God tells them that evolution was his idea first. I miss Asimov also. He wrote many excellent books on science fact as well as some of the greatest science fiction in literature.

  3. “When their body dies, physically, that is not the end of their existence. “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.””

    Evidence, please. And if the evidence is the Bible, please demonstrate how its claims are any more believable than the claims of the followers of Mawu-Leza, Krishna, or Shintoism.

  4. LRA says: “Evidence, please.”

    You’ve been thinking too much. Don’t worry your pretty little head about such things. Submit to me!

  5. Submit to me!

    That’s not a comforting visual. Besides which, we know it’s turtles all the way down.

  6. Ol’ Hambo would make a great bearded lady in a sleazy side show!

    Oh, wait . . . .he is already.

    Never mind.

  7. As far as I know, he is now experiencing the judgment described by the Lord Jesus in this most serious passage.

    According to scripture, Ham can’t know very far.

    We know that he doesn’t even know the scriptures as well as did Asimov, the fellow he condemns.

    Knowledge is the glory of God, some Christians say. Ham shows he doesn’t know the glory of God.

    Why should anyone find Ham credible, especially versus Isaac Asimov?

  8. retiredsciguy

    Ellie: “…I’ve never mistaken Ken Ham for God. How unfortunate for him, that he has.”

    Oh, that’s *really* good!

  9. “Ol’ Hambo would make a great bearded lady in a sleazy side show!

    Oh, wait . . . .he is already.”

    Haaaahahahaaahahahaaaa!!!!!!!!

  10. @Curmie

    What would you like me to submit? A paper on the neural basis of cognition might be nice. Or how about an analysis of the crumbling “Two Cultures” notion in academia that CP Snow talked about all those years ago?

    😛

  11. “In reading over Luke 16:19-31 today, Isaac Asimov again came to mind. As far as I know, he never made a profession of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. As far as I know, he is now experiencing the judgment described by the Lord Jesus in this most serious passage. … Isaac Asimov read creationist books. He read the Bible. He had ample opportunity to kneel before his Creator and Savior. He refused. ”

    Did Ham think this through? Asimov was ethnically Jewish. Is Ham saying that Jews must become Christians (and the right sort thereof) to be “saved”? That all Jews are going to Hell if they don’t accept Christ? Maybe some Fundamentalists believe exactly that, but most of the ones I’ve talked to sincerely believe Jews have been historically God’s chosen people and still have some sort of separate “covenant” with Him, and so aren’t obligated to go the usual salvation route.

  12. Deklane, there is absolutely nothing in Christian doctrine to support that idea. Nothing. And plenty in there to contradict that PC notion. Jew = doomed to burn. Period.

    Now, one could argue that Asimov deserved some sort of punishment for the overly talky, underly plotted, hugely over-rated Foundation trilogy. But brimstone and hellfire seems a bit extreme.

  13. Benjamin Franklin

    “If I were not an atheist, I would believe in a God who would choose to save people on the basis of the totality of their lives and not the pattern of their words. I think he would prefer an honest and righteous atheist to a TV preacher whose every word is God, God, God and whose every deed is foul, foul, foul.”
    — Isaac Asimov

  14. SY: Now, one could argue that Asimov deserved some sort of punishment for the overly talky, underly plotted, hugely over-rated Foundation trilogy.

    Ooh! Now thems fightin’ words … exceptin’ maybe that you are right about the over-talky-under-plotted part. 😉 Foundation definitely isn’t an action series, but Asimov explored some innovative ideas for that time.
    If it’s action you want, check out the Benford-Bear-Brin contribution to the Foundation series (minor spoiler: Harry Seldon = Kung Fu Master!).

  15. Isaac Asimov was one of the writers who woke me up to real science and to classic science fiction. Even as a child, I saw his rationalism contrasted with the blithering fantasies of creationists. Asimov explained the world with logic and evidence, without any special pleading.

    Alas, yes, his storytelling can be pedantic at times, but that is often a relief from the shallow plot-driven writing of others.

  16. Asimov explored some innovative ideas for that time.

    Rule by the elite? 🙂

  17. Well he did explore both in fiction, and his science essays, rule by computer. The good points and bad to it. Do they count as Elite 😉

  18. Well, someone has to decide how the idiot thing is programmed.

    Peace be with you, friend. Joy and contentment. It is the will of Landru.