Ken Ham: Bad Science at NASA

The world doesn’t really appreciate Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the Australian entrepreneur who has become the ayatollah of Appalachia. We know that he’s famed for his creationist ministry, Answers in Genesis (AIG) and for the mind-boggling Creation Museum.

But that’s not all. Hambo is also the holiest man alive, who understands the bible better than anyone else. Not only that, he understands science better than all of the world’s scientists. Best of all, he makes his wisdom available to us on the internet. We are truly blessed to be alive at the same time as such an extraordinary individual.

We are pleased — and privileged! — to present to you, dear reader, some excerpts from what ol’ Hambo just posted at his blog: NASA Scientists on God, Creation, and Evolution. “NASA,” of course, is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

Two former astronauts have been in the news recently talking about science and the Bible. Both of these scientists claim that Christians can accept millions of years and evolution without any problems so that Christians aren’t in conflict with secular “science.” But in saying that, they are ignoring many theological and scientific problems — and once again are confusing observational science and historical science.

Aaaargh!! We discuss the bogus dichotomy between what Hambo calls observational science and historical science in Common Creationist Claims Confuted. Then Hambo says:

Dr. Leslie Wickman, a former astronaut who worked as a Hubble Space Telescope engineer, reportedly said that the supposed conflict between “science” and religion is “an illusion of conflict . . . perpetuated by people at the extremes of the dialogue.” … She reportedly holds to an old Earth and universe and says that evolution is a “plausible explanation.” She apparently added, “If we don’t allow ourselves to question anything, then our faith is a very shaky faith.”

Egad — that’s blasphemy! Let’s read on:

In a separate, unrelated article, famous astronaut John Glenn, the first American to orbit Earth, reportedly said that “he sees no contradiction between believing in God and believing in evolution.”

More blasphemy! Hambo continues:

Scientists like Wickman and Glenn who claim that ideas like an old universe and evolution are compatible with the Bible are ignoring many theological and scientific problems. Firstly, there is the problem of death before sin. Genesis 1:31 tells us that everything God made was “very good.” Scripture also tells us that death is the result of sin (Genesis 2:17), not an original part of God’s creation. … But if God used evolution to create, then He used a process of millions of years of death, disease, bloodshed and suffering to create life. He then looked over millions of years of death, bloodshed, suffering, disease, and animal carnivory and called it “very good.”

Golly — Hambo’s right. If the universe is old and evolution is a good theory, then — gasp! — the bible is wrong. But Hambo knows the bible isn’t wrong. It can’t be! Here’s more:

But there are also many scientific problems with the idea of an old universe. For example, the universe is full of brightly burning blue stars. These stars burn so brightly that they would burn out in just a few millions years, and yet they appear all over the universe no matter how far away we look.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Hambo seems unaware that when we see those stars, we’re seeing them as they were millions or billions of years ago. They may very well have burned out by now. Oh, wait — if light only travels at the speed of light, then the universe is far too old to fit into the bible’s description, so we must be seeing everything the instant it occurs. Well, they could be newly-formed stars. No, Hambo’s got that figured out too:

Scientists posit that they must be forming spontaneously even in modern times in order for them to remain so populous all throughout the universe. Yet scientists have never observed even one forming! This confirms a young universe, not a billions-of-years-old one.

That’s odd. We read about such observations all the time — for example: NASA satellites catch ‘growth spurt’ from newborn protostar. Ah well, moving along:

Now, an old universe is not the only idea in secular thought that has major scientific problems. Evolution also has huge problems. For example, evolution requires the addition of huge amounts of brand-new information into the DNA of a creature in order for new features to arise. But there is no known process that adds brand-new information into the genome of a creature. But without new information you absolutely cannot turn an amoeba into an astronaut no matter how much time you have! Evolution just cannot happen.

Ah yes, the creationist claim that new “information” can’t evolve naturally. That’s also mentioned in Common Creationist Claims Confuted. Here’s what we said there:

Mutations produce no new “information”: There are abundant examples to the contrary. See: Creationism and Nylon-Eating Bacteria. See also How One Gene Becomes Two Different Genes, and also Human Brain Gene “Sprang From Nowhere”?

But in spite of the blasphemous people at NASA, Hambo has hope for the American space agency. He tells us:

Now these two astronauts might refuse to accept what the Bible clearly teaches and might deny the strong evidence for a young universe and special creation, but many other scientists at NASA don’t! I spoke at the Bible Club at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center near Baltimore, Maryland, in 1994, when AiG was just beginning as a ministry in the US. During my time at NASA, I was thrilled to meet many scientists who were also biblical creationists!

Isn’t that wonderful? There’s hope for NASA! This is from Hambo’s last paragraph:

Our final authority is not fallible man’s ideas about the past. Our final authority is God’s unchanging, infallible Word.

If only more people would listen to ol’ Hambo. Then all our problems would be solved.

Copyright © 2015. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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18 responses to “Ken Ham: Bad Science at NASA

  1. But there are also many scientific problems with the idea of an old universe. For example, the universe is full of brightly burning blue stars. These stars burn so brightly that they would burn out in just a few millions years, and yet they appear all over the universe no matter how far away we look.

    Ham is full of something himself, and it’s not blue stars, though I’m sure it would burn if ignited.

    Evidently it doesn’t occur to him that new stars are forming all the time, so blue stars only a few million years old are perfectly reconcilable with an ancient universe. Evidently he thinks all the stars formed at the same time–on the fourth day, I’m sure.

  2. I’ll say one thing for Hambone: he is entertaining. A little boring and repetitive, but entertaining, none the less. And by his own admission, his final authority is a collection of bronze age myths, which he prefers to anything related to reality that has been discovered since then.

  3. “Yet scientists have never observed even one forming …”.
    The hypocritical purveyor of pseudo-science Ham (nor his resident astronomer it seems) won’t tell us what scientists ARE observing through telescopes (observing in the past – OOPS does that make it ‘historical science’ for which an infallible eye-witness must be insisted upon?). (I realise that the whole process of a star’s formation might take longer than one human lifetime.)

  4. Scientists like Wickman and Glenn who claim that ideas like an old universe and evolution are compatible with the Bible are ignoring many theological and scientific problems.

    Um … Hambone, they didn’t say that science was compatible with the Bible … they said it was compatible with a belief in God. In case you don’t know, not all religions … indeed, only a few … require the Bible to be “literally” true in order to believe in God. Understanding FAIL.

  5. @John Pieret
    There are people who say that the Bible is compatible with an old universe and evolution. In fact, that was a belief even among some
    conservative Christians in the early 20th century.

    B. B. Warfield, “On the Antiquity and the Unity of the Human Race” (1911)

  6. Stephen Kennedy

    All of the creationists at NASA that Hambo mentions are engineers who are no more scientists than medical doctors are. Their knowledge of the Natural Sciences is really very limited.

    In college, the typical engineering student to get his Bachelor’s degree takes two semesters of Calculus based Physics, two semesters of General Chemistry and no other courses that are not in the Engineering school.

    My eldest son graduated a week ago from CSU Sacramento with Bachelor’s degrees in both Physics and Geology and will be starting graduate school in Geophysics this summer. His courses included three semesters of Calculus based General Physics and upper division courses that included one semester of Modern Physics (Relativity and QM), one semester of Math for Physics majors, one semester of Thermodynamics, one semester of Classical Mechanics, two semesters of Electro-magnetic Theory, two semesters of Advanced Quantum Mechanics, one semester of Advanced Physics Lab, one semester of General Astronomy and one semester of Physics of Dark Matter and Dark Energy.

    There is a huge gap between what engineers learn and what students with actual majors in the Natural Sciences learn.

  7. Derek Freyberg

    The Hamster continues running in his wheel.

  8. Dave Luckett

    One very minor quibble: Ham thinks that John Glenn’s remarks were heresy, not blasphemy.

    Even Ham doesn’t really think that Glenn was taking the Lord’s name in vain or inviting God to go piss up a rope. However, Glenn was implying that parts of the Bible are not to be read literally, but the Hamatollah says these parts (but maybe not other parts) are so to be read literally. So Glenn spoke heresy, from Hammo the Slammo’s point of view.

    Mind you, practically the whole of the Christian church does that, by the standards adopted by the Old Ham of the Mountains. One should reflect, however, that the converse is also the case.

  9. I wonder whether some of the fundamentalists go so far in their bibiolatry (assigning divine characters like perfection) of the Bible that they would call it “blasphemy” to assign fallibility to the Bible.
    I don’t know.

  10. All I can say is that Ken Ham is getting tiresome. His refusal to open his eyes to ANY science speaks only one thing — he’s protecting his commercial interests in Answers in Genesis, the Creation Museum, and now, the Ark Encounter.

    He’s only in it for the buck. He has no genuine interest in promoting the message of Jesus.

  11. Hard to say whether he’s in it only for the buck. I believe some people close to him have come away with the impression that he is generally sincere, which makes it slightly easier to respect him as a person. Not that we (the would-be rational people) should necessarily stop expressing our, ahem, amusement. I imagine Ham greatly enjoys being able to feel that he is “persecuted for the sake of righteousness”, so it is a rather strange win-win situation for him and us alike.

  12. Dave Luckett says: ” John Glenn’s remarks were heresy, not blasphemy.”

    Technically true. But when I imagine someone is in a religious frenzy and is hurling insults like an Old Testament prophet, I can hear him shouting “blasphemy” instead of “heresy.” It’s a stronger-sounding word.

  13. docbill1351

    Scientists like Wickman and Glenn…

    Nope, not scientists either one.

    Wickman holds a BA in Political Science, MS Aero Engineering and a PhD in Human Factors/Bioengineering. She worked as an engineer for various companies including WET that programmed the fountains at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. She’s also an ordained minister. In short, she’s a capable engineer but knows sweet FA about biology. She’s also an ordained minister.

    Glenn never finished his degree as he quit college in 1941 to join the Marine Corps. According to the Wiki, Glenn barely made it into the astronaut corps as he was pushing 40 and didn’t have a science degree.

    Wickman is clearly an example of the Salem Hypothesis, but Glenn not so much. Glenn spent a lot of time as a politician and I’m sure he comports his religious/social traditions along with his understanding of science.

    In either case, engineers – not scientists.

  14. Still it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand the science of evolution, or any science for that matter.

  15. I don’t follow the Hamster but I suspect that he considers the proposed mission to Europa to be a waste of time and money as, according to him, there is no life elsewhere in the universe.

  16. Ham must believe that God created a background to the universe of tiny, faint, significantly red-shifted galaxies, mixed with with slightly brighter, larger, less red-shifted galaxies, mixed with others which seem to be close and bright and not red-shifted at all. A dense mix of galaxies in every direction. Maybe it was God’s idea of a nice wallpaper for his creation. Or maybe he was just a trickster.

    Observational science, all of it.

  17. H. K: Fauskanger:
    “Hard to say whether he’s in it only for the buck. I believe some people close to him have come away with the impression that he is generally sincere, which makes it slightly easier to respect him as a person.”

    Perhaps; maybe I’m being too harshly cynical. However, by pushing so hard for donations, bond sales and tax breaks for his grandiose Ark Encounter; and by insisting that to be a “true Christian” one must swallow his brand of creationism (to the benefit of sales through AiG and ticket sales at the Creation Museum), Ham paints himself more as an Elmer Gantry-ish huckster than as a sincere person following the teachings of Jesus.

    Moreover, Ken Ham is an intelligent man. Thus, he understands the science that overwhelmingly supports the concept of an old Earth and an even older universe. However, if Ham were to ever admit the science is correct, his whole commercial enterprise would collapse.

  18. docbill1351

    Nope, old Hambo is in it for the buck. Definitely. He broke with AIG in Australia and sued them for rights to their materials. It was not pretty.

    Hambo is a devious con man out to suck money from whomever is stupid enough to send it to him. He figured there was more stupid in America than Australia and has made a much nicer life for himself and his extended family, who all work for the Business, than he could have in Oz.

    Hambo is a disciple of the Money Grubbing Gospel and no less than that.