Ken Ham Is Furious Over Clergy Poll

While our readers are shaking their heads in dismay over our last post, New Poll of Protestant Clergy on Evolution, indicating that 73% of pastors disagreed – 64% said they strongly disagreed — with the proposition that “God used evolution to create people,” and 74% believe the biblical Adam and Eve were literal people, there’s one man we thought would be delighted — but who definitely isn’t.

That man is Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the Australian entrepreneur who has become the ayatollah of Appalachia. He runs the online creationist ministry, Answers in Genesis (AIG), one of the major sources of young-earth creationist wisdom. He also created the infamous, mind-boggling Creation Museum.

He’s just posted this in his personal blog at the AIG website: Will Pastors Miss the “Millions of Years” Point? He discusses the LifeWay Research poll results at length, and then he quotes this from their article, Pastors oppose evolution, split on earth’s age:

In response to the statement, “I believe the earth is approximately 6,000 years old,” 34 percent of pastors strongly disagree. However, 30 percent strongly agree. Nine percent somewhat disagree, and 16 percent somewhat agree.

Ol’ Hambo is sputtering mad. He says, with bold font added by us:

Here is the major observation I want to make. … Over the years, I have found many Christian leaders who don’t believe in evolution, but they do accept millions of years before Adam and his fall. Some are very conservative in their doctrine, but they may teach the “gap theory” or ”day age theory” to try to fit millions of years into the Bible. The point is, many Christian leaders think as long as they are against evolution, it doesn’t matter what they believe about the age of the earth. But the problem really is millions of years — not evolution!

Wow! We never realized that Hambo regarded evolution as less important than the age of the Earth. Then he repeats something he wrote in 1998, which says:

I want to make it VERY clear that we don’t want to be known primarily as “young-Earth creationists.” AiG’s main thrust is NOT “young Earth” as such; our emphasis is on Biblical authority. Believing in a relatively “young Earth” (i.e., only a few thousands of years old, which we accept) is a consequence of accepting the authority of the Word of God as an infallible revelation from our omniscient Creator. [Capitalization, italics, and bold font in Hambo’s original paragraph.]

[…]

Let’s be honest. Take out your Bible and look through it. You can’t find any hint at all for millions or billions of years.

[…]

I understand that the Bible is a revelation from our infinite Creator, and it is self-authenticating and self-attesting. I must interpret Scripture with Scripture, not impose ideas from the outside! When I take the plain words of the Bible, it is obvious there was no death, bloodshed, disease or suffering of humans or animals before sin. God instituted death and bloodshed because of sin — this is foundational to the Gospel.

[…]

Why would any Christian want to take man’s fallible dating methods and use them to impose an idea on the infallible Word of God? Christians who accept billions of years are in essence saying that man’s word is infallible, but God’s Word is fallible!

That’s enough from Hambo’s old article. Let’s read on in his new blog post:

When a person today stands up (as we do at AiG) and proclaims that we believe in no death before sin, only thousands of years for the age of the universe, and that most of the fossils were formed during the Flood of Noah’s day around 4,300 years ago—then that person will be mocked at by the world and called “anti-academic,” “anti-science,” “anti-intellectual,” etc.

Oh, we can mock better than that. “Anti-reality” is our preferred term. We continue:

For the secularists, they have to have millions of years — without this they can’t postulate enough time for evolution. Millions of years is absolutely vital to the secularists in their attempt to explain life without God. They just can’t allow anyone to question the idea of millions of years.

Actually, Hambo, as your career demonstrates, it certainly is allowed to question the age of the earth. But no educated person takes young-earthers seriously. Here’s more:

Bottom line — evolution is really not the problem as much as the age of the earth. Millions of years is the problem in today’s world that has resulted in a loss of biblical authority in the church and culture and has led to an increasing loss of generations from the church.

Better get used to it, Hambo. “Millions of years” won’t go away. Moving along:

I personally believe that belief in millions of years is the lie of Satan in this present world that is used as one of the greatest attacks on God’s Word. … The church needs to wake up to the fact that when God’s people accept the pagan religion of millions of years, they are helping the enemies of God attack His Holy Word.

Satan? Okay. So that’s where we’ll leave ol’ Hambo today — red in the face, foaming at the mouth, and raging about Satan and “millions of years.” If he ever realized that it’s billions of years, not just millions, the guy would probably explode.

Copyright © 2012. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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14 responses to “Ken Ham Is Furious Over Clergy Poll

  1. Millions of years is the problem in today’s world that has resulted in a loss of biblical authority in the church and culture and has led to an increasing loss of generations from the church.

    Possibly true, but not in the way Ken means.

  2. Hambo complains, “Millions of years is the problem in today’s world that has resulted in a loss of biblical authority in the church and culture and has led to an increasing loss of generations from the church.”

    There would be no “loss of biblical authority” if the fundamentalist absolutists such as Ham did not insist that we rely on the Bible as our only explanation of the nature of reality, even when it is clearly in conflict with what is observable fact. By insisting that we close our eyes to reality, they are themselves turning people away from the ethical truths within the Bible.

    Ham, if you are reading this, I realize it is most likely falling on deaf ears (or more precisely, a closed mind). However, I’m going to say it anyway.

    God gave us the gift of logic. It did not come from Satan. Using our logic, we have developed the means to understand the nature of the physical universe. Over the centuries, many tens of thousands (perhaps hundreds of thousands) of people have used these means, known as the scientific method, and to the best of our knowledge the universe is about 13.7 billion years old, the Earth, along with the rest of the solid bodies of the solar system, is about 4.6 billion years old, and life has existed on this planet for approximately 3.8 billion years. It’s hard for many people to believe that all of these scientists have misinterpreted the evidence that leads us to these conclusions.

    Mr. Ham, it is more likely that you are the one who is doing the misinterpreting. I’m no biblical scholar, but I’m sure that there is no specific mention of the Earth’s age therein.

  3. If he ever realized that it’s billions of years, not just millions, the guy would probably explode.

    Ham, if you are reading this, “Billions of years”.

    I like explosions. Don’t you?

  4. Ham’s dating methods make some unwarranted assumptions about the unknowable past. For example, he assumes that days in Genesis were the same length as current days. How does he know? Was he there? As I recall, he believes such assumptions are wrong when made by scientists.

    It is enjoyable, however, when Ham gets so worked up over the beliefs of his fellow Christians. Sic ’em, Hambo, sic ’em.

  5. Say what you will about Ham, but he’s hit a key point. If he can keep people from believing “millionsbiillions of years”, he kills many birds with one stone. If he can convince people to believe that the Earth and universe are only thousands of years old, he covers biology, geology, physics, and palaeontology, to name a few.

  6. Tomato Addict quips, “Ham, if you are reading this, “Billions of years”.
    I like explosions. Don’t you?”

    Now, now, T.A., that’s not very Christian of you — but it sure as hell is funny, man!

  7. If the concern is about the authority of the Bible over materialistic/naturalistic evidence, what about Biblical geocentrism? There is no reason at all to think that the Earth is a planet of the Sun other than purely materialistic/naturalistic evidence, and no one doubted that the Bible meant to say that the Sun goes around a fixed Earth before the rise of modern science. (On the other hand, there were many different interpretations of the “days” of Genesis even in early Christianity, well before modern science.)

  8. Curmudgeon: “Wow! We never realized that Hambo regarded evolution as less important than the age of the Earth.”

    As I’m sure you know, he doesn’t. Evoluttion, or more correctly, their “Darwinism” caricature, is their obsession. What he is trying to do is apply the Discoveroid tactic of trying to have everything both ways. Anyone who is reasonable and gives it more than 5 minutes’ thought will wonder why they even care what the independent evidence supports if they insist that the Bible (their particular interpretation of course) is the ultimate authority. To them the (carefully mined and fabricated) evidence is just a backup in case some audiences – those reasonable but without the time or interest to see the game being played – will buy the “evidence” argument but not the “authority” one.

    So actually the “have it both ways” strategy began with the pre-ID “scientific” creationists. But the DI perfected it, and now the YEC activists are playing catch-up.

  9. Ham wrote, “When Christians have agreed with the world that they can accept man’s fallible dating methods to interpret God’s Word, they have agreed with the world that the Bible can’t be trusted. They have essentially sent out the message that man, by himself, independent of revelation, can determine truth and impose this on God’s Word. Once this “door” has been opened regarding Genesis, ultimately it can happen with the rest of the Bible.”

    Ham is right to highlight this: the idea that human beings have sufficient powers of rational cognition so as to discover something about the nature of reality, without any divine guidance or revelation, is the core idea of the Enlightenment. In contesting this, Ham makes it crystal-clear that it is the Enlightenment to which he is fundamentally opposed.

  10. I don’t doubt that the “Word of God” would be self-authenticating and inerrant… if we had the word of god (assuming he/she/it exists).
    The trouble is, it’s quite apparent thanks to science that the Bible either A.) is not the word of God (at least not in unaltered form), or B.) God is a liar. Since I’m pretty sure most people of faith would rather not have their god be a liar, then the only alternative is to stop holding onto literal interpretation of scripture.

  11. TomS: “If the concern is about the authority of the Bible over materialistic/naturalistic evidence, what about Biblical geocentrism?”

    Right. As we speak, Tony Pagano is taking his “science” over to AiG and ICR. He’ll show those “atheistic” heliocentric YECs who’s boss. And once he wins them over, it’s off to the DI to expose their “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. 😉

  12. I wish that instead of resorting to mockery and name calling you would actually take the time to critically examine what Ken Ham & Answers in Genesis has to say.

    I attended public/state school & universities all my life. I have a masters degree and am not some kind of mind-numbed robot. I have invested time and actually READ a book or two that the Answers in Genesis SCIENTISTS have written. These men and women are from reputable institutions of higher learning. Their scholarship is excellent and the books are fascinating and the arguments they make are compelling.

    When blogs like this result in name calling, it really diminishes your arguments and the credibility of your ideas. Ken Ham seems to go out of his way to be respectful of those who disagree with his beliefs. He certainly seems to try not to personally attack people and disrespect them. It’s too bad that those who seem to believe they are so much smarter than Ken Ham and others who believe the Bible can’t muster up the same kind of respect.

  13. @Lea:

    There is no independent evidence supporting a young earth, or a worldwide flood, or any of the other Genesis miracles. None. All of the evidence unearthed to date about the earth and it’s history – ALL of it – points to a planet approximately 4.6 billion years old, and a history of life stretching back approximately 3.8 billion years.

    Ham knows this. It is why AiG came up with the argument that different world views interpret the same evidence differently. This is a clever tactic, however, not every world view is equal. When studying the natural world, a world view that objectively tests and analyses evidence obtained from the natural world to derive conclusions is clearly superior to one which (1) begins with a conclusion and requires all evidence to be re-interpreted to fit the conclusion, and (2) requires supernatural forces and miraculous events that are not testable, observable, and vary from religion to religion.

    Ham is a theologian, not a scientist. His employed “scientists” are true believers, and are not practicing science when they write articles using sciencey language to mislead their readers. They will never, ever, do independent, objective research and contribute to our understanding of the world. It is a sad fate, but perhaps they believe they are saving souls, and are willing to surrender their integrity to do so.

  14. @Lea:

    One more thing. Since no amount of logic or evidence will influence Ham – his ideas are already widely debunked – we find that ridicule and scorn are the most appropriate response. No one should be allowed to promote completely irrational idiocy without the community showering them with derision. He deserves no respect.

    The consequences of Ham’s actions can also be damaging to education (particularly home schoolers) and to the general public’s acceptance of science, which in turn can have long term effects on our ability to deal with global warming, health, food production, alternate energy sources, and many other issues that need science-based solutions.

    The internet has given Ham a bully pulpit which he does not deserve. However, it also provides the opportunity for knowledgeable people to debunk his crazy ideas, and hopefully show him for what he is. I am certainly happy to participate in that effort, as, I am sure, are many others on this site. It is a worthwhile endeavor.