Ken Ham Blasts Dawkins & Praises Carson

Everyone knows who Richard Dawkins is. And our regular readers have seen our commentary on Ben Carson, one of those running for the Republican nomination in the 2016 Presidential election. Our last post about him was Is Ben Carson Insane?

What could be better for this humble blog than to have both Dawkins and Carson discussed by Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the Australian entrepreneur who has become the ayatollah of Appalachia. He’s famed for his creationist ministry, Answers in Genesis (AIG), and for the mind-boggling Creation Museum.

Ol’ Hambo just put this up at his blog: Richard Dawkins Chides a Real Scientist. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

On CNN November 1, TV host Fareed Zakaria interviewed atheist/religious zealot* Richard Dawkins. And no surprise, Dawkins, in his usual disparaging style, derided anyone who believes God created the universe and all life and reject the fairy-tale belief that all life arose by natural processes. [That asterisk after the word “zealot” is explained at the end: “The worldview of atheism is a religion … .]

Here’s a YouTube video of that interview. It’s just under five minutes long. Okay, back to Hambo:

Dawkins particularly disparaged Dr. Ben Carson, running for US President. In this interview, Dawkins made the false claim (that he’s made many times) that “evolution is the bedrock of biology and biology is the bedrock of medicine.” He went on to say this about Dr. Carson: “He clearly doesn’t understand the fundamental theorem of his own subject. That is a terrible indictment.”

Yes, that’s what Dawkins said. Let’s read on, as Hambo flies into a rage:

Actually, by making such an ignorant and nonsensical statement, Dawkins is disproving his own accusation! Obviously, Dr. Carson didn’t need to believe in evolution to become a world-renowned pediatric neurosurgeon with sophisticated skills at age 33, receive 67 honorary doctorate degrees, separate conjoined twins, [etc., etc.] How does that impressive list line up with what Richard Dawkins has accomplished in this world?

Aaaargh!! No one doubts that Carson is a skilled surgeon. But it’s also true that he has no grasp of the theoretical underpinnings of biology. Well, a pilot can fly an aircraft even if he doesn’t understand the physics involved, so it’s clear that one can be a skilled technician even when he lacks a theoretical knowledge of the the field in which he works, and Carson is a good example. Hambo continues:

And if Dr. Carson can achieve all these accomplishments without believing in evolution, what then does evolution have to do with medicine? As I challenged TV’s Bill Nye “the Science Guy” (and I have also challenged Dawkins), name one technological advancement (including one medical advancement) that could not have come about without a belief in evolution? Well, there are no such examples.

Aaaargh!! Actually, there are some examples in the TalkOriginis Index to Creationist Claims — see The theory of evolution is useless, without practical application. We gave our own answer back in the first year of this humble blog — Discovery Institute: Toad-Tested Medicine!

But even if there were no practical benefits to evolution, so what? Where are the practical benefits of astronomy? Other than improved telescopes, it’s difficult to think of any. What has our knowledge of Pluto or the moons of Jupiter ever done for you? Nevertheless, no sane person would doubt that astronomy is a genuine science that describes our reality. Well, a creationist might express doubts, but who cares? Here’s more:

Evolution is not the “bedrock” of biology or medicine! Evolution is a fairy tale, akin to reading children the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs or of Cinderella and her pumpkin coach!

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Another example of a fairy tale would be Genesis, because we don’t know how Adam & Eve or Noah’s Ark could help Carson in his surgery any more than Cinderella. Anyway, we’ll move along in Hambo’s wonderful rant:

Dr. Carson is a real scientist. What are Dawkins’ accomplishments for the advancement of medicine or biology?

Lordy, lordy. We won’t bother with that. Well, we might ask what any of Hambo’s creation scientists have done with their creationism, but you all know the answer. Here’s another excerpt:

In this interview, Dawkins claimed that molecular genetics was the best evidence for evolution. He compared the DNA of humans and chimps as an example. But Dr. Dawkins is not telling the public the truth about this comparison. I discussed Dr. Dawkins’ claim with Dr. Georgia Purdom, a researcher, writer, and speaker with Answers in Genesis. … Here is what she states about the true nature of this comparison:

[Hambo quotes sweet Georgia Purdom:] Dawkins stated in the interview that scientists can compare the DNA of humans and chimps and count the differences. I would agree the problem is that many evolutionists don’t count all the differences in their final numbers resulting in 98–99% similarity. They have concluded that either these differences aren’t important (based on absolutely no experimental evidence) or they just ignore the differences because they are so numerous that they don’t fit the evolutionary paradigm of common ancestry. … Just the opposite of what Dawkins states, molecular genetics is absolutely consistent with biblical creation and absolutely inconsistent with molecules-to-man evolution.

[*Groan*] Skipping several paragraphs of bible quotes, Hambo says:

In some ways, however, Richard Dawkins and I are alike. He is zealous for his beliefs about atheism; I am zealous for my beliefs concerning the truth of God’s Word and the gospel. He wants to reach as many people as he can with his message of atheism; I want to go into all the world and preach the gospel to as many people as I can.

That paragraph was interesting. Here’s one last excerpt:

I often ponder why Dawkins even cares what others believe, given that his belief is that people cease to exist when they die, and so no one will ultimately know anything — they won’t know why they ever existed. It’s really a spiritual issue, and Dawkins has to aggressively suppress the truth to try to convince himself that what is obvious to all is not true!

It’s not a question of what happens — if anything — after we die. The important issue is what kind of world we live in while we’re alive, and what kind of people are making the rules. Do you think you’d be better off in Dawkins’ world, or Hambo’s? It’s your choice, dear reader.

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

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27 responses to “Ken Ham Blasts Dawkins & Praises Carson

  1. Our Curmudgeon asks

    What has our knowledge of Pluto or the moons of Jupiter ever done for you?

    Well, such knowledge helps you to distinguish your elbow from the seventh planet– which seems to be an impossible task for Ole Hambo…

  2. Curmudgeon writes: “we might ask what any of Hambo’s creation scientists have done with their creationism.”

    Don’t forget the super sciencey true truthy bariminology–my favorite creation science. It even sounds smart!

    Everyone knows that your toaster wouldn’t work, your toilet wouldn’t flush, and water would not run downhill if we didn’t know (and only thanks to the tireless efforts of creation scientists) what kinds of animals Noah cared for on the Ark that later super-evolved into today’s species.

  3. The technologies involved in furthering astronomy have generated some stuff that’s useful in completely different fields, the obvious example being the nonstick frying pan. (One could quibble and say that was born out of space-exploration technology, not astronomy-related technology. But I could quibble right back that space exploration is one of the tools of astronomy. So there.)

    What astronomy has done for me personally is to kindle (in childhood) and forever fuel my sense of wonder, thereby opening up mental and aesthetic realms that I find of incalculably enormous value. It has helped me understand my own and this planet’s and the human species’s place in the universe, how we got here and where, long after we’ve exited the stage, things will likely go. To suggest astronomy has no practical value is akin to suggesting that music has no practical value. Anything that feeds the mind makes life the more worth living. You can’t have much higher practical value than that.

  4. Ben Carson is a scientist? Really? I guess Hambo doesn’t know that Ben isn’t a YEC otherwise he wouldn’t be carrying the water for him.

  5. Astronomy has been promoted for centuries by navies for its ongoing use in navigation. The nautical almanacs are still produced by major navies with basic astronomical data. The timings of pulsars are useful for determining time.
    One of the motivations for Captain Cook’s voyage was to get observations of the transit of Venus.

  6. Sorry, I am the “Anonymous”. I don’t know why my computer decided to sign me off. Just in case it does it again, I am TomS.

  7. Ol’ Kenny boy once again set out to prove he knows nothing about biology and succeeds beyond his wildest expectations. To quote a Russian Orthodox Christian, Theodosius Dobzhansky, “Nothing in biology makes any sense except in the light of evolution”. Also “…it is ludicrous to mistake the Bible and the Koran for primers of natural science. ” But Kenny apparently is too busy reading Bronze age myths to learn anything about biology.

  8. Stephen Kennedy

    I am an MD and have performed surgeries but I am not a scientist even though my undergraduate degree was in Physics. Medical doctors do study some science as part of their professional training but they are not scientists. It does not take any knowledge of science to perform surgery, just a familiarity with human anatomy and the technical skills to perform the operation.

    It bears repeating that medical doctors and engineers are not scientists but it seems they are, of all people with a college education, the most likely to be taken in by pseudosciences like creationism.

  9. @Stephen Kennedy:

    Actually, Stephen, if you have a degree in physics I’d say you qualify as a scientist! Also, it’s very apparent that you apply the scientific method in your thinking. ‘Fraid you’re stuck with it, mate.

    Where I think it could be useful to make a distinction is between “medicine” and “medical science.” I used to have a cardiologist who was perfectly competent at putting me through various tests, reading the results and prescribing me meds. It took me a long while to realize that an iPhone could have performed the same tasks and with as much understanding. Similarly with Ben Carson or Ebon Alexander and brain surgery: they have incredible and admirable skills, but that’s not necessarily the same as an understanding of medical science.

    Dawkins, of course, isn’t primarily a medic, yet he probably understands the foundations of medical science far better than do either of those two — as do you. Don’t sell yourself short!

  10. It bears repeating that medical doctors and engineers are not scientists but it seems they are, of all people with a college education, the most likely to be taken in by pseudosciences like creationism.

    Do you really think Ben Carson became a doctor before becoming a creationist?

    I suspect that he was a creationist long before he became a doctor.

  11. Realthog is a nice guy: “Actually, Stephen, if you have a degree in physics I’d say you qualify as a scientist.”
    I am with StephenK here. I have degrees in both physics and math, are committed to the scientific method like him, but wouldn’t call myself a scientist either. I’m just a teacher.
    To call yourself a scientist you must do research. And I’m not talking about combing through scientific texts looking for opportunities to quotemine.

  12. Richard Bond

    Actually, astronomy is of great practical value in a couple of cases: demonstrating that Genesis I is rubbish and that YECs are disgusting liars. It would be impossible to count, but I would bet that astronomy has contributed to many millions of people rejecting biblical literalism and becoming open to better education as a result.

  13. @Richard Bond-
    There is an interesting book, which presents many examples of how people interpreted the Bible in the culture which produced the Bible, the couple of centuries around the BC/AD divide.

    James L. Kugel
    The Bible As It Was
    Belknap Press of Harvard U. Press, 1997

    They knew better than to read it “literally”. It didn’t take knowledge of astronomy.

  14. Richard Bond

    They knew better than to read it “literally”. It didn’t take knowledge of astronomy.

    I think that you missed my point, unless you are claiming that nobody attempts to teach the bible as literal truth.

  15. No one accepts the buyBull as the totally true words of gawd! But unfortunately 999.999999% of people can live well without knowing evilution or having their religious BS interfere with their jobs. But like the pick and choosing of their beliefs, they also pick choose their science! Evilution is bad, iPhones is good, the fact they are both based on the same science is ignored; just as the difficult parts or their religion are ignored.

  16. I’m going to agree with Stephen Kennedy here and say Ben Carson isn’t a scientist. Exhibit “A” is Ben Carson’s calling out “highfalutin scientists”, pretty much pulls himself out of the group. That is unless he is a “lowfalutin scientist”. A degree in the sciences doesn’t make one a professional scientist, that is to say an active researcher or investigator.
    I saw an interview with Ben Carson a couple of weeks ago where he was talking about insurance and things medical. Where he knows his stuff he comes off as exceptionally intelligent. If his brain hadn’t been steeped in Seventh Day Adventist dogma resulting in a huge blind spot to reality he might be a well-rounded person. That said, I still have a problem electing a neophyte for president. You should have at least one job on your resume in elective office. This modest requirement eliminates Trump, Fiorina, and of course Carson.

  17. I often ponder why Dawkins even cares what others believe, given that his belief is that people cease to exist when they die, and so no one will ultimately know anything — they won’t know why they ever existed. It’s really a spiritual issue, and Dawkins has to aggressively suppress the truth to try to convince himself that what is obvious to all is not true!

    Ah, where to begin . . . !
    Let’s say Dawkins is correct. It’s still worth caring what other people believe, since that will shape what future generations believe — and belief shapes what people do, and therefore both the world they live in and that which their descendants will inhabit.

    As for what’s “obvious to all,” it was once “obvious” that the earth was flat and the sun and all the other heavenly bodies circled it. Even most creationists know better these days, though there are still flat-earthers out there. Interestingly, though, even our old friend Kent Hovind flees from them, likely to save what shreds of credibility he has left.

  18. [Even] if there were no practical benefits to evolution, so what? Where are the practical benefits of astronomy? Other than improved telescopes, it’s difficult to think of any. What has our knowledge of Pluto or the moons of Jupiter ever done for you? Nevertheless, no sane person would doubt that astronomy is a genuine science that describes our reality. Well, a creationist might express doubts, but who cares?

    You missed a question: what are the practical benefits of creationism? Does any modern technology depend on it? Even Ben Carson wouldn’t be able to point to any.

    Faced with that reality, creationists tend to retreat to arguments about the relative moral benefits of creationism versus those of Darwinism. But even there they are on shaky ground, since some of the most vicious acts in human history were carried out by believers in creation. The Bible tells us the story of the extermination of the Amalekites; more recently, of course, there are the Inquisition and the Salem witch trials.

    Granted, there are no historical examples of mass murder carried out in the name of creationism as such–but if these people were to gain the power they long for, that might be only a matter of time.

  19. Unusually Ham showed a little self-awareness in this blog. After routinely bashing Dawkins with a few choice Bible quotations.

    A Christian blogger was not very happy with the Ham blog:
    http://www.joeledmundanderson.com/?p=620

  20. More discussion of Carson here (Carson does not agree with Ken Ham’s ‘biblical timescales’ as you may be aware even though Ham did not mention this)
    http://forums.bcseweb.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=3720

  21. “I guess Hambo doesn’t know that Ben isn’t a YEC …”. I strongly suspect that he DOES know, even though I have not seen him mention it either in the blog about Dawkins, or for that matter here (where Ham may be implying that he is more likely to vote for Carson, should the opportunity arise, than Trump – well for once I would agree with Ham): https://answersingenesis.org/ministry-news/ministry/donald-trump-phenomenon/ (Ken Ham ‘not’ getting ‘political’ – well he didn’t bash Obama this particular time)

  22. Knowledge of the moons of Jupiter certainly affected Galileo, it led to his house arrest during his final years. He might have been pleased to know, however, that it was an even greater disruption for the church. Many astronomical discoveries have caused the church to struggle, such as the discovery of the immense scale of the universe, the big bang, and the currently growing number of exoplanets (including possible earth-like worlds.) The same can be said of geology and of course evolution – both might be relatively unimportant in our daily lives but seem to be of overwhelming importance to the church… or at least the church as Ham believes it to be.

    For those reasons alone, the science is worth it. And, someday, one of the moons of Jupiter might provide evidence that could dwarf even Galileo’s discovery; a second genesis in the oceans of Europa or Ganymede. No difference in “worldview” will be able to explain that away.

  23. More pseudo-scientific garbage from Ken Ham, liar extraordinaire.
    https://answersingenesis.org/blogs/ken-ham/2015/11/04/fish-forgot-to-evolve/
    He confuses two issues – what individual fossils look like (some are very similar to non-extinct creatures eg this fish) and the pattern of the fossil RECORD. And the footnote really gives the game away. Cue some unscientific and unbiblical garbage – to ‘explain’ the apparent lung – that “perhaps before the Flood” things were ‘different’ ie perhaps these fish had functioning lungs even though they don’t now. What Flood? Perhaps deep time and evolution are true AFTER ALL.

  24. Techreseller

    Here is my bet. Humans finally land a spacecraft on Europa. We discover life. Different than ours, maybe even lacking DNA, having figured something else out after RNA. Creationists do not miss a beat and continue beating the drum of the Literal Bible. Anyone want to take that bet?

  25. As others here have observed, Ben Carson isn’t a “real scientist” even though he has a degree in a scientific field. To qualify as an actual scientist, one has to do actual science for a living (or at least, like Charles Darwin, as a major part of one’s life).

    Calling Carson a “scientist” reminds me that the same claim was made about Duane Gish. Gish had a degree in biochemistry but didn’t do any serious work in the field, preferring instead o write turgid tracts such a Evolution? The Fossils Say No! He wasn’t a scientist either.

    By contrast, Dawkins is an actual, practicing scientist. Ridiculing him as a religious zealot is a case of the pot calling the silverware black.