Coat of arms of James McGrath. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Any casual student of human behavior will recognize that straw man arguments and other logical fallacies usually indicate the presence of either an untempered or irrational mind. Such is the case with the latest assault posted by Ken Ham on his Facebook wall (of persecution). James and others have responded to the clear indication that Ham has some sort of unhealthy fascination with the good (and real) Doctor McGrath. As the latter has shown, Ham has a demonstrated in a very unstable response revealing it is not AIG who is getting to McGrath, but the other way around.
What I found odd with people like Ham, Hambone, and 범죄자, is the constant refrain of “I’m winning” and “You are so deluded you’ll never hear the truth.” And yet, it is quite possible to use the same mindset on them, the same verses on them. Why? Because any such misuse of Scripture to prove the other person too deluded to understand anything, Gospel truth or otherwise, is subjective nonsense — because it amounts to little more than the childish taunt of “I know you are, but what am I”. So, when I read a statement from Ham stating he is clearly getting to someone, all I can think of is R. Girard and mimetic desire – and how such statements betray a certain hidden facet of Ham’s desire. He desires nothing more to be what McGrath is, to be a Christian like him.
Someone brought this up in the blogosphere, and considering that I love to dabble in various things, such as linguistics (I am stuck on the aurality of fanny and fancy in U.K. English at the moment), I figured I’d show case some of the silliness here.
Way back when, when I was but a young lad, I heard this from a young earth creationist guild. Watching this video brought that rumor back.
Anyway, before you get all hizzy-pizzy, I want to call attention to a few things. First, the language used here is modern Chinese, and not ancient, before Jesus, Chinese. Part of this smut comes from a book by E. Nelson, who published a follow up book when this one was shown to be inaccurate and who would later go on to refute the claims. Nelson, by the way, is still touted as a scholar of repute by Ken Ham’s adult website. Ironically enough (ironic, because I have pointed out that Ken Ham is really preaching Seventh Day Adventist Doctrine), she is a Seventh Day Adventist. I hate to generalize groups, but by in large, “scientists” who hold fundamental SDA doctrines often fudge the facts.
If you take a gander at the reviews of those books, and do just a tad bit of a search on ye olde google, you’ll find enough holes to walk a dinosaur through or at the very least, not post stuff like this on blogs where people may think you are endorsing it.
I know there’s something of a tradition on this blog in highlighting the, erm, ‘teachings’ of Ken Ham, and I will periodically continue this great tradition with my ongoing series entitled: Around the twist with Ken Ham.
Today we discover how rejecting AIG’s creation narrative inexorably leads to gay marriage and abortion:
AiG’s Creation Museum is being challenged once again by the secularists, this time in the renowned magazine Scientific American. A guest columnist reports he visited the museum recently. Jacob Tanenbaum, a fourth and fifth grade science teacher, wrote the column titled “A Science Teacher Draws the Line at Creation.” The piece was originally published in the January 2013 print edition of Scientific American under the title “Creation, Evolution and Indisputable Facts.”
The fact that the well-known Scientific American has published this commentary is significant. To us it means the editors understand the importance of this battle over origins. In reality, it is a struggle over the question of authority. Who is the ultimate authority—man or God? Whatever authority you acknowledge will determine how you view moral issues such as “gay” marriage and abortion. If God is the authority (and He is), then marriage is one man and one woman, and abortion is a crime against God. If man is the authority, then marriage can be however one wants to define it—and abortion is just another way to kill an animal.
Did you spot that slight of hand.
According to Mr Ham to accept evolution is to reject the authority of God leading to immorality such as abortion and gay marriage.
And that, dear reader, is a classic example in the art of conflation.
In countries with elite science education standards, you can be a very good science student but, since you measure yourself against an elite standard of performance, you think of yourself as mediocre. On the other hand, if you live in a country with average (or mediocre) science standards, you might be just a decent student, but compared to general expectations of how good students are supposed to be, you feel like a genius.
The responses by Bryan Fischer and Mike Huckabee have once again reminded me the great gulf fixed between fundamentalism and mainline Christians. Do not mistake my words here as a rant against conservative Christians. I am a conservative Christian, but I am neither fundamentalist nor evangelical (at least in the American sense of the word). I am mainline. I am a United Methodist. I, instead, speak about the fundamentalists, those like Fischer and Huckabee — those like Westboro Baptist Church. Let me state clearly here as well something. There is little difference between the normative fundamentalist and Fred Phelps. Phelps just as the courage to say in public what so many pastors yesterday said in the comfort of their pulpits. 1
What was the first response you had to the tragedy? Was it to demonize the gays? Democrats? To call for the end times? Was it fear? Did you promulgate a false notion of history, as if violence suddenly increased in this country due to a Supreme Court ruling? Did you suggest it was because the rampant sin in society as if this sin is something germane to our social situation? Or did you begin to pray for the families of the victims, even for the shooters? Did you wonder what you could do to host a vigil, to send a prayer, to tweet something to the family, to hug your children?
If your first response was to assume the children in some way deserved it, that we as Americans deserve it, then you are nothing more than a follower of Fred Phelps.
If your first response, after the anger subsided just a bit, was to begin to call for prayers of comfort, you may be a follower of Jesus who refused to condemn the Gentiles who perished in the tower at Sidon.
Compare well the responses from the Westboro ilk and the mainline Christians:
Once again we speak against the culture of violence infecting our country even as we prepare to welcome the Prince of Peace at Christmas. All of us are called to work for peace in our homes, our streets and our world, now more than ever.
For communities and schools affected by violence, especially Sandy Hook Elementary School. As they remember and as they grieve, hear their cries and wipe away their tears. Assure them of your promised peace in the midst of suffering.
“Friends, in the midst of this tragedy draw closer to your loved ones, especially the children,” his letter said. “Reassure them of God’s love and your love. While we cannot undo this carnage, we can respond with the message of hope and healing that our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ offers to us all. Through the tears of a nation, remember the promise of the Psalmist: ‘Weeping endures for a night, but joy comes in the morning’ (Ps. 30:5).”
Recently, Dan Savage issued a plea for the Christian Left to get louder:
Here’s the thing – we who you would call liberal are too busy working – too busy praying – too busy doing God’s work for us that we do not have time to blast anyone. For example, these mainline churches in Newtown are already working to help the families in crisis. The UMC and other national groups are already working to provide backup to the churches in Newtown while still working in respond to Sandy, while still working in response to AIDs, immigration, labor, equality… while we are still working around the world. The reason you only hear from the right wing is because they aren’t work — they are too busy coming up with excuses and playing the blame game to work, to do real, meaningful work.
Ham’s tactics read more like political ads than how Christians should speak to each other: painting the other in a wholly negative light; employing highly charged rhetoric; quickly labeling his opponents and misrepresenting them to dismiss them more effectively; bullying; and generally not being a very good listener. His rhetoric is also marked by supreme self-confidence that he speaks for God, and is punctuated by the passive-aggressiveness move to ask his followers to “pray” for the person in question.
What I’ve noticed about Ham and others – I’m looking at you Hambone – is that when you disagree with them, they simply attempt to resurrect the Inquisition – though to be honest, the Inquisition is a bit more honest than how Ham and his minions treat other Christians.
Because evolution and millions of years are really the anti-God religion of this age, the secular academics intimidate Christians to adopt their ideas (which many do by compromising these with God’s Word) or they will be deemed anti-academic.
You know… you know how he goes on and on about Young Earth Creationism not being a requirement for salvation? Take a gander at that little statement?
See, what he chalks up to pride is actually a careful study of the documents. What he has, after all, is a large amount of pride, and investment if you will, in his little sinking ship. As it gets worse… as fewer and fewer people believe him… he will become more and more radicalized in requiring Young Earth Creationism as a tenant of salvation.
I mean, sure, he is clearly hinting at it right now, but he has yet to come out and fully say it. Ham has a neurotic streak about him, one allowing him to see himself as God – I mean, how else can you completely change the meaning of a text and then declare others anti-God when all you mean is anti-you?
Poor guy… he needs some help… and I do not mean building an ark…
The article is titled, “An Evolving Controversy: The Struggle to Teach Science in Science Classes” (Summer 2012, pp. 12–23). The authors, Michael Berkman and Eric Plutzer, are professors of political science at Pennsylvania State University. They have written about the creation vs. evolution controversy before, but this article highlights their bias toward evolutionary belief in stunning ways.
He goes on to suggest that because Scientists have not observed evolution, then debate remains. Except… we have observed evolution in process. Of course, they make up excuses for this.
And he pretends that Creationists produced respectable science – that’s like saying mythicists are respectable.
Wait for it…
I am unsure how teaching Creationism, something unsupportable biblically and scientifically, is teaching children to think critically. Isn’t that like asking them to question why we have no evidence against Santa Claus or honest Republicans?
Oh come on, Hambone…
Teach the kids science. If you can, teach actual biblical criticism at the high school level so that they can understand just how bad Hammy K and others are abusing it to fit their own needs.
But he is. He’s mad that someone would dare challenge his homeskool currickulum with a proper course on evolution and science. In a post entitled, simply, WARNING, he begins,
Washington State University (WSU), using funding from the National Science Foundation, has produced an evolutionary biology curriculum targeted at homeschool families. The curriculum, called Lessons in Evolutionary Biology, is available for free online and includes lessons and activities for pre-school through twelfth grade.
The ejection of the black hole actually took place about 4 billion years ago, as astronomers observe the radiation from galaxy CID-42, which is 4 billion light years from Earth. Astronomers reviewing data from the Hubble Telescope first noticed something interesting was going on. The visual data was then confirmed by telescopes on the ground.
A few other stories have circulate recently that black holes have been shown to contain the beginnings of other universes. Indeed, this is the multiverse theory.
Our universe may exist inside a black hole. This may sound strange, but it could actually be the best explanation of how the universe began, and what we observe today. It’s a theory that has been explored over the past few decades by a small group of physicists including myself.
Successful as it is, there are notable unsolved questions with the standard big bang theory, which suggests that the universe began as a seemingly impossible “singularity,” an infinitely small point containing an infinitely high concentration of matter, expanding in size to what we observe today. The theory of inflation, a super-fast expansion of space proposed in recent decades, fills in many important details, such as why slight lumps in the concentration of matter in the early universe coalesced into large celestial bodies such as galaxies and clusters of galaxies.
Anyway, the god of the Hamites is one that quite being a creator on Day 6 of the length of the universe. The God of Christianity, however, albeit a Christianity enlivened by Science, is one that is still, as the creeds say, a Creator. God is not the one who simply created, but one who is the Creator.