Hambo in the Golden Age of Creationism

While we’re waiting for some news to write about, let’s be imaginative. Imagine that it’s 200 years ago — 1818 — and you’re a creationist entrepreneur like Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else. You have grandiose ambitions like he does. How would you go about it?

It was the Age of Enlightenment, the principles of which had recently been fixed in the US Constitution. Church and state were separate in the US, and nothing like the Salem Witch trials could ever happen again, so you would have plenty to be upset about. But there weren’t any state-run schools in those days, and most schools that did exist were essentially bible schools, so there were plenty of creationists around who could be customers for your tourist attractions.

You wouldn’t need to build a creationist museum, because Darwin wasn’t yet 20 years old, and no one had ever heard of evolution. So what would you do? Well, how about building a “life size” Noah’s Ark? It would be difficult. Science was still in its infancy, and the technology Hambo used to build his ark in Kentucky wouldn’t be available. It would have to be built in much the same way that Noah would have built his ark — without trucks or power tools — and that would be extremely labor intensive and time consuming.

But suppose you somehow managed to build the thing. Now what? Where would the customers come from? They’d have to be from reasonably nearby, because travel in those days was on horseback, or in horse-drawn coaches, and very few people would travel any significant distance merely for a vacation. Also, in those pre-industrial times, not many could afford such a journey. That means you’d have relatively few customers for an ark exhibit — probably not enough to make it a profitable venture even if you could somehow build it.

The fact is that ol’ Hambo couldn’t do what he has done in what he imagines was a golden age of creationism — and he certainly couldn’t do it in an earlier century. Nor could Noah, of course, but we already know that. Our point is that ol’ Hambo is entirely dependent on our modern, scientific society — the one he abhors. Ironic, isn’t it?

Copyright © 2018. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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8 responses to “Hambo in the Golden Age of Creationism

  1. There are several studies of fundamentalism which point out that fundamentalism iwelcomes recent technology. In the 1920s, it understood the potentials of radio.

  2. Holding The Line In Florida

    Today is the golden age of fundamentalist creationism. Look at all the hucksters making a living off the, how shall I say it nicely, cognitively challenged people. Televangelists and their political Fundimentalist allies have never had it so good despite the abundance of evidence diametrically opposed to their “message”. The NY Times has a rather telling piece by Katherine Stewart about the new Bible Museum in DC and what it is about.

  3. Given that modern creationism is 99% anti-evolution it couldn’t have had the foundation until way after Darwin.

    As we all know there is no evidence for creationism, just belief.

  4. Well what WERE fundamentalists ranting about 200 years ago ? One suspects it wasn’t very different from Hambo’s current schtick on paper. In terms of exhibits he’d have a lot less to work with.

  5. 200 years ago there were no fundamentalists.

  6. Sometimes your ignorance is stunning, dear SC.

    “It was the Age of Enlightenment,”
    Thanks to Napoleon the Age of Enlightenment was definitely over. Romanticism (after late 18th Century Sturm und Drang) had taken over. In the USA the genocide of the Indians had caught steam.
    Bigots like Ol’Hambo always find horrible things to do.

  7. In the USA, the Second Great Awakening was underway with the 19th century.

  8. TomS . You’re right ! Thanks for posting that and prompting me to review that term more thoroughly.