Ken Ham: The Understanding of a Child

We may have figured out why Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) writes so often about his experiences with children. As you know, ol’ Hambo is the Australian entrepreneur who has become the ayatollah of Appalachia. He runs the online creationist ministry, Answers in Genesis (AIG), and he also created the infamous, mind-boggling Creation Museum.

Hambo’s focus on children is not merely because they give him money (see: Taking Candy from a Baby) or that they mimic his approach to “science” (see: Ken Ham Disciple Exposes NASA’s Godless Lies). No, those explanations are too easy. There’s more to it than money and the pride of intellectual acceptance.

We think the reason is that while they are young and ignorant, children readily accept fantasies like fairies and Santa Claus and Mickey Mouse. But as they mature, become educated, and start to think for themselves, they no longer see things with a child’s comprehension. That’s the “problem” about which Hambo often writes (see: Everybody’s Leaving His Church).

We drew our insight from Hambo’s latest blog entry, which is titled An Eleven-Year-Old Has the Correct Answer Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

Recently I read a review of our new book, Already Compromised. What a blessing to read the following, as an eleven year old understands the problem of compromise in so many of our Christian colleges more than many of the professors:

Here’s the “review” Hambo read:

I discussed the statistics with my husband and sons. My eleven year old was disgusted by some of the findings. When I read to them about the percentage of those who did not believe in a literal six-day, 24-hour creation, my son sighed. His response was: “I’ve got the answer to this problem. Put down your textbooks, and open your Bible.”

What can we say about that? What can anyone say? Well, here’s what ol’ Hambo says:

How profound, coming from a child! You don’t often hear such wisdom coming from a young person, but they sometimes reveal that they understand more than we think they do. And he is right; too many times we rely on man’s words and man’s ideas that we find in a textbook, and we don’t spend enough time learning from God’s own Word. If more of these colleges and universities would make the Bible their main textbook, maybe we wouldn’t be wading through the “Great Compromise.”

That “compromise” is what many denominations have done to avoid being anti-reality cults. They have remained relevant by not rejecting science. But that’s not Hambo’s way, and we think that’s the reason he finds so much intellectual compatibility with children.

Copyright © 2011. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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19 responses to “Ken Ham: The Understanding of a Child

  1. cnocspeireag

    Yes Hambo, you would expect such ‘wisdom’ to come from a child, but if they still say such things at eleven, maybe they are not developing too well.

  2. Curmudgion: “What can we say about that?”

    That the kid has himself stumbled onto a compromise that is much more of a threat to “scienific” YEC than the “accommodationism” of Theistc Evolution or OEC. By saying “Put down your textbooks, and open your Bible” the kid is unwittingly endorsing the Omphalos position, which concedes that one cannot support YEC (or other literal interpretation of Genesis) with the evidence at hand.

    Some fatherly advice to “Ol Hambo”: If you want to have everything both ways, give up the “scientific” YEC nonsense and become a Discoveroid.

  3. It continually amazes me how the ignorant can take such pride in their ignorance. I’m sure the boy’s mother was immensely proud of her son’s rejection of education and knowledge.

  4. I have to stop reading these posts about Ken Ham. Really. Because, I’ve opened my Bible many times, and I still don’t mistake Ken Ham for God. Furthermore, it is not the wisdom of an 11 year old, because an 11 year old who uses those words is only repeating what he has heard. I might also point out to Ham that the early Christians had no Bible and yet, they found faith anyway. Faith — not science. Not then. Not now. Arrgghh. And, apologies for the sermonette.

  5. It always strikes me that Ham draws a distinction between “man’s words/ideas” and the stories in the bible. Who does he think wrote the bible? Chimps? Angels with steno machines?

    The only difference between man’s ideas as written in the bible and man’s ideas that Ham dislikes is that the bible is 2-3 millennia out of date.

  6. Poor kid. I know a YEC couple that’s spending thousands of dollars they can scarcely afford to home school their children, to keep them from learning ’bout dat baaaad ol’ evilution. They’re both moonlighting, working themselves into the poorhouse just to make sure their kids can’t compete. I hope this child enjoys his career in the food service industry.

  7. Ed says:

    Who does he think wrote the bible? Chimps? Angels with steno machines?

    Were you there?

  8. I think the Hamster cynically looks on children as a sort of farm team for his YEC Ignorance League.

    The Hamster is an evil manipulator of that ignorance for his profit.

  9. Frankly, Ham scares the $hit out of me. He is promoting his ignorance with a great deal of aggression.

    He’s buying gobs of ad time on Indianapolis TV stations plugging his Creation Museum some two hours away. The place is mecca to home-schoolers. Besides the TV spots, there are several billboards within a hundred miles or so of the museum that are designed to appeal to the kids — dinosaurs and adventure, etc. I guess his idea is to get the kids to badger the parents into taking them to the museum.

  10. magpie61: “I know a YEC couple that’s spending thousands of dollars they can scarcely afford to home school their children, to keep them from learning ’bout dat baaaad ol’ evilution.”

    Did you tell them about the Discoveroids, and how they don’t want “creationism” or ID taught, but do want “evolution” taught? The catch is that the “evolution” they would teach is a caricature, followed by long-refuted “weaknesses.” Would that couple settle for that, or would thay consider them just as evil as us “Darwinists” for not teaching a 6-day creation?

    Also, you might want to have fun and tell them about Hugh Ross (most famous present day OEC) as well as how W. J. Bryan was an OEC. And ask what they think of geocentric YEC if they’re one of those “accommodationists” like Ken Ham.

    If all evolution deniers were heliocentric YECs, I would have lost interest in the “debate” years ago.

  11. @RetiredSciGuy: I’m from Indy (and actually there now visiting) and have not seen either any billboards nor seen any TV ads. Do you know any of the local stations running those ads? I’ll report back if I see anything.

  12. @Frank J:

    I don’t know the wife but I worked with the husband, and he’s a dyed-in-the-wool, 14-carat, “Gimme dat Ol’ Time Religion” ignoramus. He once told me that Satan planted fake dinosaur fossils to fool disbelievers. (“He must have had a pretty long shovel,” I said.) I don’t think the guy ever read a book that didn’t have staples and a superhero on the cover. Sometimes a lost cause is a lost cause.

    It isn’t my place to interfere with his raising his kids, much as I’d like to. I don’t even know the rest of the family. Personally, I can’t think of a better way to handicap your offspring when it comes time to pick out colleges. By denying them a rudimentary science education, he may as well tie anchors around their necks. As the school counsellor said on The Sopranos: “The world needs ditch diggers, too.” What a shame.

  13. Gary: I just heard one of Ham’s ads today (I was on the computer with my back to the tv), And I believe it was on the NBC affiliate, Ch. 13. I’ve seen the Creation Museum commercials several times now, and frankly, I haven’t paid much attention. I may have also seen them on WLFI-TV, the CBS affiliate in Lafayette, Ch. 18. My daughter in Cincinnati says they’re also on tv there as well.

    One billboard that I know of for certain is on I-74 between Indy and Cincinnati, visible while driving toward Cinti. I also think I recall seeing one on I-75 in Ky., again while driving toward Cinti. Several friends have told me about others, notably on I-71 in Ky. as well as Oh., and I-75 N. of Cinti.

    I’ve also seen placard ads on the back of city buses in Lafayette. If Ham has them there, I wouldn’t be surprised if he has them on buses in Cinti., Indy, Louisville, Lexington, Dayton, etc.

    The point is, Ham’s advertising budget is orders of magnitude larger than any one legitimate science museum’s, and possibly greater than the combined ad budgets of all U.S. science museums. The man’s on a mission.

  14. @magpie61: “Sometimes a lost cause is a lost cause. ”

    Of course. I didn’t mean to ask those questions for the sake of converting them, but just to see how they react. Some of these types make excuses for anyone, including Discoveroids, who feed them with feel-good anti-evolution sound bites, while others object to ID and other brands of creationism that don’t agree with them on every claim. Any idea which “kind” they are?

    I should add that questions to the truly hopeless are best asked if there are 3rd parties present who might actually learn something. I.e. those who haven’t given it much thought either way, or those who accept evolution, but have no idea of the massive confusion and coverup within the anti-evolution movement.

  15. retiredsciguy: “The point is, Ham’s advertising budget is orders of magnitude larger than any one legitimate science museum’s, and possibly greater than the combined ad budgets of all U.S. science museums. The man’s on a mission.”

    But is all that $ exchanging hands among those who would never accept evolution under any circumstances (aka “the truly hopleless”), or is some trickling down to “fence sitters,” and thus providing competition to the Discoveroids? I don’t know if the latter is good or bad for our side but I do know that the Discoveroids don’t like it when YECs expose their own testable (and easily falsified) claims to critical analysis.

  16. Frank J: “But is all that $ exchanging hands among those who would never accept evolution under any circumstances (aka “the truly hopleless”), or is some trickling down to “fence sitters,” and thus providing competition to the Discoveroids?”

    We should be most concerned about the mis-education of the children, whether it be in Ham’s blatantly anti-science “museum” or in classrooms where Intelligent Design is allowed the status of being called “Science”.

  17. @retiredsciguy:

    Of course we must be most concerned about the mis-education of the children. Even if the DI loss at AiG gain is good relative to the status quo, it would not be nearly enough to be acceptable. But in our quest to educate children better, one thing that a few (too few IMO) of us consider is important is that when people hear about creationism – and they will, in science class or elsewhere – we remind them of its huge variety of mutually contradictory beliefs and strategies, and how that hopeless mess would not be necessary if they had a prayer at a better “theory.”

  18. @ Frank J and Magpie61: The problem is, no matter how much we may dislike the way they’re choosing to teach their children, and the harm it will do to their futures, the fact of the matter is that we don’t have any right to tell them what to do, just as they shouldn’t have control of public school lessons.

  19. @ Caleb:

    Of course we have no right to tell them how to teach their children when they’re paying for it. But we do have a right to state our opinion as long as it does not cross the line into harrassment. In the case of evangelical parents, what they do is closer to harrassment than what we do ~99% of the time. One opinion I have that is more a complaint to my side than to the evolution-deniers is my dislike of the “Teach it in Sunday School” response. While they have every right to teach creationism/ID/arguments against evolution in Sunday School, that would be morally just as wrong as teaching it in public schools. Maybe more so if such schools preach “thou shalt not bear false witness.” Note that there’s a huge difference between teaching Genesis directly, where some students already figured that it can’t be taken literally, and misrepresenting evolution and the nature of science that is the centerpiece of creationism/ID. I’m hoping that most Sunday Schools do the former and not the latter.