Lightning Strike at the Creation Museum


This news popped up in a comment to an earlier post: Creation Museum staff member struck by lightning. That story is from WKRC, Channel 12 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Cincinnati is very close to the infamous, mind-boggling Creation Museum run by Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia. WKRC says:

A Creation Museum staff member was struck by lightning this afternoon. After reports of lightning in the area, staff members were moving customers off the zip line tower. The staff member was touching the zip line tower, when the lightning struck. The man was taken to Saint Elizabeth Hospital in Florence. He was conscious and talking and is expected to recover.

Zip lines? They’re a new a attraction at the Creation Museum. We wrote about them before — see Is The End Coming for Ken Ham?

Many people regard lightning strikes as a sign of divine disfavor. In Salem and Philadelphia: A Tale of Two Cities we quoted this from a review of a book about Ben Franklin:

The clergy turned a disapproving eye on Franklin’s great invention, the lightning rod. Who was he to disturb the instruments of divine wrath?

So the big question is: What is the meaning of this lightning strike at Hambo’s creationist theme park? Everyone is free to reach his own conclusion, but of particular interest is how the folks at AIG will react to this, shall we say, striking event.

Well, we have their reaction — at least their initial reaction. At the website of Answers in Genesis (AIG), Hambo’s on-line ministry, they just posted a brief article about the incident. It’s titled: Creation Museum Lightning Incident — Praise Report.

Praise report? We weren’t expecting that. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

We are pleased to confirm that no serious injury resulted from a minor accident today on the zip line course that runs across the property of the Creation Museum.

That certainly is good news. But again we ask: What is the meaning of the lightning strike? Surely the folks at Hambo’s enterprise don’t see these things as nothing more than natural events. They’re always telling us that they see everything in a biblical way. Here’s an example of what scripture says about lightning. These passages come from 2 Samuel 22:

4 I will call on the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.

14 The Lord thundered from heaven, and the most High uttered his voice.

15 And he sent out arrows, and scattered them; lightning, and discomfited them.

18 He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them that hated me: for they were too strong for me.

Clearly, for those who are steeped in scripture, a lightning strike is nothing to shrug off lightly. The AIG article continues:

In the course of clearing the gardens, trails, and zip line course because of an approaching pop-up storm, Jeff, a staff member under the employment of the company that operates the zip line attraction, was standing on the ground and given a jolt when the energy generated by a nearby lightning strike raced down a zip line.

That’s an amazingly antiseptic description, void of any hint of deeper meaning. Let’s read on:

He did not seem to be seriously hurt, but as a precaution, he was taken to the hospital to be checked out. He was released the same afternoon.

That too is good news, and we’re happy for Jeff. But we must ask one more time: What does this mean? Does Hambo see any divine significance in this event? Ask yourself, dear reader: How would AIG react if the lab assistant to a well-known evolutionary biologist were struck by lightning in the lab? Here’s one more excerpt from the end of the article:

For those of you who heard about the incident this afternoon and had prayed for Jeff, we thank you.

That’s it. It appears they’re not going to consider that there could be some deeper meaning here. Perhaps there isn’t any. But if Richard Dawkins were stuck by lightning, they might have written a very different article.

Copyright © 2013. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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17 responses to “Lightning Strike at the Creation Museum

  1. God has terrible aim.

  2. Ceteris Paribus

    Or maybe it was Zeus, just stopping by to have a little fun at Ham’s amusement park?

  3. Same deity, but I am going with Ceteris on this one. Somebody obviously decided to take a couple of seconds out of their busy schedule to dispense a bit of divine justice on the Creation Museum.

  4. Stephen Kennedy

    The meaning of this lightening bolt is obvious. The Lord is displeased with locating something as frivolous as a zip line on the sacred grounds of the creation museum. If I was Ham this would also make me think twice about spending $25 million to build a large wooden structure such as the ark when there is deity, possibly disposed to arson and quick to anger, who is throwing lightening bolts around.

  5. What does it mean? It means Ham better invest in some lightning protection, or his liability insurance will surely be canceled. Hey, if I were Jeff, I’d be looking up the number of a personal injury lawyer — preferably one without creationist leanings.

    Look around when you’re in an amusement park. All that I’ve seen are bristling with lightning rods. Evidently Ham thought he had divine protection. Bet he’s re-thinking that assumption about now.

  6. That’s funny. It’s almost as if they didn’t understand the laws of physics.

    Oh wait…

  7. Maybe Ham-actor’s god was bowling for Coulombine, got Amped and made a strike, eh Watt? But Joule have to look at Volt he was really aiming for to Ohm in on the correct solution. The potential difference could be huge, given his capacitance for corona discharges coupled with shocking displays of electromotive force.

  8. WKRC article states the staff member victim of the lightning strike

    …was conscious and talking and is expected to recover.

    Do they mean, he’ll recover from the lightning strike, or recover from his Creationist delusions?

    Could ECT be a cure for Creationism?

  9. @ Con-Tester: a galvanizing post indeed! 🙂

  10. And another off-topic post from me, but perhaps of interest to other readers here: New Republic (sorry, Curmy) has usefully reprinted an excellent article (from 1981) by Niles Elderedge–whom some Creationists dishonestly invoke as a ‘dissenter from Darwin’, along with Stephen J. Gould. The article shows how persistent the Creationists have been in their entrenched mendacity and can be found here: Creationism Isn’t Science: The Origin of the Specious and the Dissent of Man

    I’m seriously beginning to think ECT needs to be investigated as a possible treatment for the Hammites and their ilk….

  11. It’s always fun to learn the current happenings at the Creation Museum.

  12. retiredsciguy

    The fact that Jeff didn’t get fried sounds like it wasn’t a direct lightning strike at all, but instead an induced current in the zip line cable caused by the electromagnetic pulse from a nearby lightning strike. That cable would act as a mighty long antenna, and it probably is not well-grounded (just like the “science” in the Creation Museum).

  13. retiredsciguy

    So, it was just a warning shot.

  14. retiredsciguy says: “So, it was just a warning shot.”

    I think it’s a message to Hambo to stop fooling around with zip lines and to get busy building that Ark.

  15. Notice also that Ham was careful to mention that Geoff was “a staff member under the employment of the company that operates the zip line attraction…” Any liability for his injury would presumably accrue to that separate, unnamed company, and not to the museum.

    I wonder who owns the zip-line company, whether it is a for-profit enterprise (probably), and how income from that company is distributed.

  16. What are the odds that a shrine will be built on that spot. I’d also bet that it will be just large enough to support a donation box.

  17. Zip line? Sounds like a ZAP line.