Ken Ham and the Garden of Eden

A few days ago, the New York Times ran a review of Which Way to the Garden of Eden? — a book by Brook Wilensky-­Lanford titled Paradise Lust. It’s about people who search for the location of the bible’s Garden of Eden.

According to the Times, the book is interesting, but it gives an unflattering picture of the Garden-hunters. Here’s one excerpt from the end:

[T]he portraits of earlier searchers, deft and funny, tend to make the contemporary accounts — of, say, Wilensky-Lanford’s visits to the Creation Museum in Kentucky and to the Mormon site of Eden in Independence, Mo. — feel pedestrian. Mostly, however, “Paradise Lust” is a pleasure. Wilensky-Lanford tackles her subject with an appealing mix of serious research and tongue-in-cheek humor. Neither too academic nor too whimsical, the storytelling in “Paradise Lust” is often irresistible.

The Wall Street Journal also has a review of the book: Back to the Beginning. We’ll take our excerpts from the beginning and the end of that review:

One of the largest of our many creationist museums, in which Adam and Eve can be found frolicking near dinosaurs on a planet 6,000 years young, opened only four years ago in Petersburg, Ky. Against such a backdrop, it is hard to imagine a person searching for the actual location of the Garden of Eden as anything other than a player in a tired, politicized game.


As Ms. Wilensky-Lanford’s story moves into the present, she notices today’s young-earth creationists reluctant to identify a geographic Eden, despite their stridency about the rest of the physical world. Ms. Wilensky-Lanford finds the nonspecific Edens in the creation museums disappointing compared with her subjects’ idiosyncratic ones, which, though far-fetched, “represented possibility,” she writes, and a hope for a better world. It’s easy to share her sense that a vague, generic Eden is no Eden at all.

The book and both reviews mention a certain creation “museum” in Kentucky, and that has attracted the attention of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), 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.

Ol’ Hambo has posted about this book — which he regards as shoddily-researched — in his blog at the AIG website: Where Was the Garden of Eden? Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

I was interested to read a Wall Street Journal review (Saturday’s edition, page C-6) of a book that deals with the topic of the Garden of Eden. One of the reasons I was interested in this review was because it began by mentioning the Creation Museum [Hambo’s excerpt omitted].

Then Hambo quotes the review’s statement that “a vague, generic Eden is no Eden at all,” and he says:

Now it is true that nowhere in the Creation Museum do we suggest a location for the Garden of Eden. And why? Well, as we have written for years (and as this author should have researched), we would have absolutely no idea where the Garden of Eden was located because the whole earth was totally destroyed by the devastating worldwide flood of Noah’s day.

Ah, Hambo says the author should have done her research. Had she done so, by reading AIG’s material, then she would know that the Flood had destroyed the Garden. Hey — ol’ Hambo’s got a point. How could any serious scholar ignore AIG’s trove of creationist material? Let’s read on:

We have a number of articles on our website for both children and adults dealing with this topic and explaining a number of reasons as to why we could not locate the geographical position of the Garden of Eden in today’s post-Flood world.

Hambo’s got the info! Not only for children, but adults too — that is, adults with the minds of children. Here’s Hambo’s wrap-up:

It’s a shame this author didn’t do her homework and explain why one cannot locate this Garden today. I suspect, though, that this author wouldn’t accept such an obvious explanation based on taking Genesis as literal history — to do so would be to admit that the Bible’s account of history in Genesis is true!

Yes, it’s a shame. Perhaps one day the world will learn that Hambo’s got all the answers. Until then we say: Hey, Hambo: BWAHAHAHAHA!

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

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6 responses to “Ken Ham and the Garden of Eden

  1. There’s a way to find out if O’ Hambo has all the answers. Ask the Discoveroids if he does.

  2. Ham doesn’t know where the garden was, and thinks if could have been anywhere? He has detailed explanations for everything else in the bible, including wild non-biblical speculations like dinosaurs on the ark.

    It’s a very suspicious bit of avoidance, if you ask me.

  3. cnocspeireag

    You have been imprecise about Hambo’s audience. It’s not so much children and those with the minds of children. That’s really unfair to most of us on the bell curve.

  4. I thought it was in Bedrock, between Mr. Slate’s Gravel Quarry and the Water Buffalo Lodge.

  5. Somebody, like ol’ Hambo, should do his research. The Bible mentions theat two of its four rivers were the Tigris and Euphrates, which confines Eden to a small area. It was most likely part of what is now the Persian Gulf where four rivers came together. Of course, how rivers could endure and not be subject to the layers supposedly laid down by the flood is a problem for the creationists to gnash their teeth over.

  6. So what’s wrong with understanding Eden as maybe a metaphor for something in human nature that’s fascinated and bothered philosophers since…oh, wait, it’s not likely that Mr. Ham reads this blog. Nothing to see here, please move on.